Today we shall be compiling the various health benefits of dark chocolate.
Do you know that dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet?
I bet you don’t.
The higher the cocoa content, the more health benefits there are and the less sugar content.
As a preventive cardiologist, Dr Suzanne Steinbaum of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City says, “When looking for a sweet snack, a square of dark chocolate might, in fact, be your healthiest choice!”
1. Dark Chocolate Is Very Nutritious.
Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals and thus is very nutritious.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains (1 ):
• 11 grams of fibre.
• 67% of the RDA for Iron.
• 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
• 89% of the RDA for Copper.
• 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
• It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
2. Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants.
When it comes to antioxidants cocoa and dark chocolates us what can be described as a super source.
It contains more antioxidant properties than other fruits, even blueberries and acai berries included (2).
Cacao seeds thus provide nutritive value beyond that derived from their macronutrient composition and appear to meet the popular media’s definition of a “Super Fruit”.
3. Dark Chocolate Might Help Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Blood Flow.
Although mild in effect the flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO) which in turn sends signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure (3).
4. Dark Chocolate Can Help Raise HDL Levels And Protect LDL Against Oxidation.
Dark chocolate was discovered to be able to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men while increasing HDL (4).
It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity (5).
5. Dark Chocolate Can Cause Improved Blood Flow To The Brain And Thus may Help With Brain Functions.
In a particular study of healthy volunteers, it was discovered that 5 days of high-flavanol cocoa consumption improved blood flow to the brain (6).
When it comes to elderly people with mental impairment cocoa may significantly improve cognitive function (7).
6. When It Comes To Cardiovascular Disease Dark Chocolate May Help You Lower its Risk.
A study has shown that chocolate consumed 5+ times per week can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57% (8).
In another study, it was revealed that eating chocolate 2 or more times per week can lower the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32% (9).
7. Dark Chocolate May Help You Fight Off Cancer.
According to the American Cancer Institute: (10)
“Given chocolate’s rich supply of flavonoids, researchers have also investigated whether it may play a role in cancer prevention. The studies in cancer prevention are still emerging. A recent review of studies on the cancer-protective properties of cocoa concluded that the evidence is limited but suggestive. More rigorous studies should be conducted on chocolates’ cancer protective role, concluded the author, because it provides ‘strong antioxidant effects in combination with a pleasurable eating experience.’”