Are you a chocolate lover? Do you enjoy eating dark chocolate? If yes, then you will be happy to read about some of its awesome health benefits.
Many studies have confirmed that moderate consumption of dark chocolate can really enhance your overall health. Some people may not believe this as Americans eat so much chocolate. It is calculated that they consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate per year and that is around 11 pounds per person.
Eating dark chocolate regularly will provide your body with essential nutrients, lower your risk of heart disease, improve your brain functions, protect you from cancer, and premature aging.
A high-quality piece of dark chocolate (100 gr.) contains around 80% cocoa, are 11 grams of fiber, 90% of the recommended daily intake for copper, around 70% of the RDI for iron, around 60% of the RDI for magnesium, and lots of manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium. Remember that it also contains sugar, that’s why you need to consume it in moderate amounts.
Dark Chocolate Is Rich In Antioxidants
Due to internal factors like inflammation or external, like UV, pollution, and cigarettes, our body produces free radicals as a reaction. These free radicals are waste substances that cause cancer and premature aging. That’s why we all need to eat as many antioxidants as we can so that our bodies will be able to destroy those unstable cells.
It is proven that raw cocoa beans are the best food that fights against free radicals. There are other organic compounds in dark chocolate that also act as antioxidants, like flavanols, catechins, and polyphenols.
It Lowers The Risk of Heart Disease
The biggest risk factor for heart disease is high blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help to reduce it by stimulating the production of nitric oxide in the lining of the arteries. The nitric oxide has a relaxation effect on the arteries which leads to greater blood flow and reduced blood pressure.
There are some long-term studies that suggest that eating dark chocolate is related to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol. This shows that dark chocolate probably lowers heart disease risk. But it has to be done more research, in order for this connection to be confirmed.
Dark Chocolate Boosts Brain Function
One study from 2012 shows how eating dark chocolate restores cognitive impairment. Ninety elders with mild cognitive impairment consumed cocoa flavanols once a day for eight weeks. The tests showed increased scores on verbal fluency and other cognitive measures. The blood pressure, insulin resistance, and lipid peroxidation decreased.
A study from 2017 made by Italian researchers notes that cocoa flavanols improve attention, general cognition, memory, and processing speed. That’s why it suggests that with regular eating cocoa flavanols, like the ones that are found in dark chocolate, you can make your cognitive functioning better.
Knowing all of this useful information about dark chocolate, next time when you eat some of it, don’t feel guilty at all. Enjoy every bite, knowing that it only brings you good, because dark chocolate truly is good for your entire body.