Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
This post just may make you smile as we discuss the dark chocolate health benefits that you may not know about and why you should. We all love dark chocolate, but can it actually true that there may be some health benefits to eating chocolate? Dark chocolate that is high quality (no, not Snickers) has several health benefits that gives you all the reason to snack on.
Chocolate has always been looked at as a comfort food and is well known throughout the world. The problem that many health practitioners have is that this dark, sweet, silky food is often over consumed. They can’t justify it as healthy nutrition because of the calories.
The question often asked is if there is truth behind the dark chocolate health benefits statement.
Common knowledge should be that consuming large amounts of any food can be bad to your overall health. Studies recently, nevertheless, show that eating (in moderation) dark chocolate can have many health benefits. So eating an ounce of chocolate may just be a good thing after all.
The question many may have about being healthier is: why dark chocolate ok and not milk chocolate?
There are several reasons why there are dark chocolate health benefits and not so much for milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has more nutrients and fiber but with less cholesterol and sugar.
It should be known when discussing dark chocolate we are referring to chocolate that is made up of 70% or more of cacao.
The Main Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
- Lower cholesterol. Studies have shown dark chocolate may increase HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) It is well known that too much bad cholesterol is bad for our health and dark chocolate may help.
- It’s heart healthy. The most well known health benefit may be the fact dark chocolate may be good for your heart. Dark chocolate has nutrients known to increase blood flow and lower blood sugar. Also, anything that can lower bad cholesterol will be good for your heart. Some data-based studies have shown dark chocolate may reduce cardiovascular deaths in men by as much as 50%. These findings, even though not scientific, are significant in the promise of lowering of cholesterol.
- Skin protection. Dark chocolate may protect the skin against harmful sun damage because it contains lots of flavanols. With that being said, you should still always wear sunscreen. If you are planning on being in the sun in the summer, increase your dark chocolate intake a few weeks prior.
- Helps prevent diabetes. Several studies have shown dark chocolate may help improve insulin sensitivity. This means that blood sugar levels can be improved with dark chocolate. The proprieties that it contains can actually have dark chocolate included in a diabetic diet.
- It is nutritious. There is about 242 calories per 100 grams so it is important to eat in moderation. However, dark chocolate has minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. It is also a good source of fiber with about 11 grams.
- Several antioxidants. Dark chocolate also has many antioxidants, great for fighting free radicals in the body, decrease risk of infection, and for enhancing better heart health. The cocoa tree is known to be one of the best sources of antioxidants. According to some studies, dark chocolate may have higher amounts of antioxidants than Acai berries and blueberries.
Better Than Milk Chocolate
Even with the higher calorie, fat, and saturated fat content than milk chocolate, the health benefits are much higher. The picture is clearer when you realize that dark chocolate has four times more fiber, 242 grams more theobromine (the alkaloid to lower blood pressure), and 22% more iron per half bar than milk chocolate.
It is also worth noting that dark chocolate has half the sugar and less sugar than milk chocolate.
Whether it is a midnight snack or holiday treat, dark chocolate is the preferred option. I hope this post takes away your guilt of consuming dark chocolate. Knowing about these dark chocolate health benefits should give you every reason to go ahead and enjoy, just don’t over indulge!
Always consult your physician about consuming anything you are not sure if it is good for your health situation.