10 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is a favorite dessert since the Mayans were fond of it as a spice for their drinks back to 2000 B.C. The value of chocolate is still high but now we have many more reasons to adore it in its various forms, from chocolate beverages to chocolate flavorings to chocolate candy candies made of hard chocolate. It is not just an extremely popular treat to eat however, but dark chocolate offers a variety of health advantages.
To qualify as “dark chocolate,” chocolate must contain at minimum 50 percent cocoa solids, sugar, and cocoa butter however it does not contain milk, as in milk chocolate, with the exception of small amounts, which may result due to cross-contamination in the process of making. The darker chocolate you choose, the more cocoa solids you’ll be gettingand the highest likelihood of health benefits.
Dark chocolate that contains high cocoa content, in moderate amounts can give minerals and antioxidants, and can aid in protecting you from heart disease. However, it can also be high in calories and sugar.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of nutrients that positively impact your well-being.The cacao seed is the source of cacao trees it’s one of the most potent sources of antioxidants that you can discover.Research suggests that dark chocolate can boost your health and reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease.
Is dark chocolate healthy?
If you compare it to other types of chocolate when compared to other types of chocolate, dark chocolate stands tall.Dark chocolate is less loaded with sugar and calories than white or milk chocolate. In addition, it boasts an abundance of antioxidants known as flavonoids.
In their fundamentals, dark and milk chocolate are made of the same components that include cocoa butter sugar, and solids from cocoa. The two types of chocolate are different in their proportion of cocoa solids however.
Dark chocolate contains between 50 and 90 percent cacao solids.And milk chocolate contains between 10 and 50 percent.
Unsurprisingly, the amount of cocoa solids will impact the intensity that dark chocolate’s benefits.The more cocoa solids, the higher flavonoids and less sugar. “If you’re using 75 percent or 80percent dark chocolate, there will be less sugar added than if you’re using 50 percent dark chocolate.
These are the 10 advantages that come from the dark cocoa or chocolate, which are proven by research.
1. Protect Your Heart
Different studies have revealed that dark chocolate could provide numerous benefits that can, when combined, help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties and antithrombotic effects that can aid in preventing blood clots as well as antihypertensive qualities, which could aid in lowering blood pressure. It is necessary to further study that these effects may interact in this manner.
2. Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
The flavanols found within dark chocolates have proven to lower the risk factors that are associated with insulin resistance. These beneficial effects on insulin resistance could lower the risk of developing diabetes over the long term.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
Research suggests that dark chocolate could positively impact the reduction of blood pressure. Endothelial cells that form a thin layer of membrane in the blood vessels of the heart aid in controlling the blood vessels and keep your body’s blood flow. The study found that people who consumed dark chocolate for one week noticed an increase in endothelial function as well as decreased blood pressure.
Another study found moderate consumption of dark chocolate improved the flexibility of blood vessels by reducing stiffness in arteries, and improving their functionality. This can help decrease the chance of developing atherosclerosis that occurs when the build-up in plaques, fats inside the walls of the arteries, which restricts the flow of blood.
4. Improve Vision
The first tests revealed that those who ate dark chocolate showed better vision after eating the chocolate as compared to those who ate milk chocolate. Although dark chocolate may provide temporary enhanced vision however, further tests needed to determine for how long this improvement will be lasting or how beneficial it will be in real life.
5. Guards the skin from sunburn
The antioxidants found in dark chocolate increase blood circulation to your skin, and also protect your skin from sun-induced damage. The results of a little study also found that eating chocolate that is high in flavanols, that is, dark chocolateis able to shield your skin against the damaging effects from UV (ultraviolet) radiations.
6. Enhances your mood
There’s good news for you: If you feel more relaxed when you eat dark chocolate there’s an scientific reason behind that. The dark chocolate is long associated with feelings of joy and satisfaction. These feelings could be derived from what’s known as polyphenolic compounds.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that lower cortisol, a stress hormone. So there are mood-enhancing benefits to eating dark chocolate. In actual fact an study that was published at the beginning of January in 2022 discovered that those who consumed regular consumption of 85% dark chocolate were more positive than those who consumed chocolate that contained less cocoaor with no chocolate in all.
7. A rich source of flavanols and flavanols.
Flavanols are a kind of flavonoid which is found in plants, such as cacao trees. These trees produce cacao beans that create chocolate. Flavanols are abundant in cacao beans.The cacao beans undergo fermentation and then roasted and produce what we refer to as cocoa beans. We create cocoa solids using the cacao beans.
Dark chocolate contains two to three times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids as compared to milk chocolate. It’s significantly higher.
This is a massive benefits to your health for the heart. Flavanols play a role in an increase in nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and enhances blood flow. Additionally, it lowers blood pressure.
A better flow of blood is good for overall well-being.Improved blood flow means protection from heart disease.It’s also good for cognition [understanding thought], because you’re having more blood flow to the brain.
Due to their antioxidant qualities Flavanols can also be beneficial in reducing cell damage related to the aging process. While there is still much research to be done but scientists have discovered evidence that chocolates with flavanols may boost the insulin sensitivity.The more you are sensitive to insulin, the lower your diabetes risk.
8. Important minerals are the source of this.
Dark chocolate is a treasure trove of essential minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, iron as well as copper and phosphorus. Within your body these minerals are utilized to aid in boosting factors like immunity (zinc) and can keep your teeth and bones well (phosphorus) and also aid in better sleep (magnesium).
The name itself suggests that milk chocolate can be described as containing some type that is made up of solids or milk. But , in general, dark chocolate is classified as non-dairy. This means it’s a great alternative if you suffer from an allergy to dairy products or want to eat a dairy-free diet. Peart mentions that manufacturing processes can add dairy ingredients to chocolate, and it’s a good idea to verify the ingredients list prior to purchasing.
10. High in fiber
In comparison to other sweets Dark chocolate is a great source in fiber. In a small amount of dark chocolate (about an ounce), there’s are about four grams of fiber.
Considerations and risks
Health benefits from dark chocolate stem principally from the flavanols found in cacao solids.
However, the flavanol content is different in dark chocolates. The processing methods are also different between producers, which can alter the flavanol level of the chocolate.
There is no legal requirement for chocolate makers to disclose the flavanol content they use in their products. However, dark chocolates with higher levels of cacao solids are likely to have more flavanols.
While dark chocolate is rich in minerals and antioxidants However, it’s usually rich in fat and sugar making it a very calorific-rich food.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of fat that is derived from cocoa butter which is primarily composed of unhealthy saturated fats.
Therefore, people should take care to limit their consumption of dark chocolate so as to keep from consuming excessive amounts of calories fats, sugars, and.
The general rule is that dark chocolate has lesser sugar levels than milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate with higher proportions of cacao solids usually have much less sugar. Sugar content varies among chocolate manufacturers, so it is advisable to check the nutrition label.
How much should I eat?
Chocolate producers aren’t required to declare the flavanol contents in their chocolates. Therefore, it’s difficult to determine the amount of dark chocolate one should consume in order to get the most health benefits from it.
The research in this article typically utilized 20-30 g of dark chocolate daily. Dark chocolate that has higher percentages of cacao solids usually have less sugar, but also more fat. Additionally, more cacao means more flavanols. Therefore, it is recommended to select dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao solids or greater.
Dark chocolate is certainly delicious for your taste buds. In moderate quantities, minimally processed, premium dark chocolate could be beneficial for your overall health.
Choose chocolate that’s at minimum 70% cocoa. It is rich in natural nutrients, minerals as well as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as fewer other ingredients, such as refined sugar and other additives.