Dark chocolate has beneficial effects on our body, because it is full of antioxidants, enhances memory, reduces the amount of bad cholesterol, and can even help in the fight against excess weight.
Many studies have shown that chocolate (we mean the dark chocolate, and not on its unhealthy varieties such as white or milk chocolate) is full of antioxidants and other ingredients that positively affect the body. Of course, referring to the consumption of small amounts of chocolate.
As in all things, it is important to be moderate and not overdo it otherwise may cause a counter-effect.
11 reasons why you should eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is very nutritious
If you buy a good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and rich in minerals.
Dark chocolate of 100 grams with 70-85% cocoa contains :
- 11 grams of fiber.
67% of PDD (PDD- recommended daily dose) of iron.
58% PDD magnesium.
PDD 89% copper.
PDD 98% manganese.
It also contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
One hundred grams, of course, quite a large amount and not the amount you should consume on a daily basis. All these ingredients come with 600 calories and a moderate amount of sugar.
For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.
Profile of fatty acids of cocoa and dark chocolate is excellent. Fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with a small amount of polyunsaturated.
It also contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, but it is unlikely that will keep you awake at night because the amount of caffeine is very small compared with the coffee.
Dark chocolate is a potent source of antioxidants
Have you ever heard of a unit of measurement called ORAC?
ORAC is the English name for the radical absorption capacity of oxygen (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This is a unit for measuring the value of antioxidants in food.
In fact, researchers put a large amount of free radicals (bad) to sample the food and observe how well the antioxidants in foods can be “disarmed”.
The biological relevance of this test is questionable, since the examination carried out in a test tube, and it may not have the same effect in the human body.
However, I think it is worth noting that the raw, unprocessed cocoa beans among the largest listed food tested.
Dark chocolate is rich in organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. It among others include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins.
One study found that cocoa and dark chocolate contain more antioxidant activity, polyphenols, and flavanols than other fruits tested, which included blueberries and berries.
Dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
Flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the inner layer of arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide (NO).
One of the functions of NO is that sends signals to the arteries to relax, which reduces the resistance to blood flow and thus lowers blood pressure.
There are many controlled studies showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are generally mild.
However, there is also a study with subjects with high blood pressure that has not shown any results, so take this all with a grain of salt.
Dark chocolate raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins protect (LDL) from oxidation.
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease.
In a controlled study, it has been found that the cocoa powder substantially reduces the oxidized low-density lipoprotein in men
He also increased high-density lipoprotein and reduce the total low-density lipoprotein in men with elevated cholesterol.
Oxidized LDL means that LDL ( “bad” cholesterol) react with free radicals.
This causes that the very LDL particle reactive and able to destroy other tissues … like a layer of the arteries in your heart.
It makes perfect sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL. It contains plenty of powerful antioxidants that enter the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins from oxidative damage
Dark chocolate may also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Dark chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
The study, which included 470 older men, found that cocoa reduces the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a period of 15 years.
Other research has shown that eating chocolate two or more times a week reduced the risk of calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Less frequent consumption of chocolate had no effect.
Other research has however shown that the consumption of chocolate more than five times a week reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57% (18).
Dark chocolate can protect your skin from the sun
The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can also be great for your skin.
Flavanols may provide protection from harmful solar radiation, improve blood circulation and increase skin density and hydration.
If you are planning a beach holiday, consider the introduction of dark chocolate over the past weeks or months.
Dark chocolate can improve brain function
It is not over with good news. Dark chocolate can also improve brain function.
One study conducted in healthy volunteers showed that 5 days of consuming flavanols rich in cocoa improved blood circulation of the brain.
Cocoa also can significantly improve cognitive function in older adults with mental disabilities. It also improves verbal fluency and reduces several risk factors for the disease.
Cocoa also contains stimulating substances such as caffeine and theobromine, which can be a key reason why cocoa may improve brain function for a short period of time.
There is significant evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits since it specifically protects against cardiovascular disease.
However, this does not mean that people should not exaggerate and eat a lot of chocolate every day. Still rich in calories and can easily get to overeating. Take maybe cube or two after dinner and try to really enjoy them.
Be aware that many kinds of chocolate on the market are not good. You have to choose a quality product … organic, dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa in it.
Dark chocolate often contains sugar, but the amount is usually small, and the darker chocolate, contain less sugar.
You may not know, but some studies have shown that dark chocolate bricks a day a positive effect on the elasticity of the skin and can slow down the appearance of wrinkles under the eyes.
Dark chocolate during pregnancy
Dietary habits change during pregnancy, however, some foods are not recommended. Dark chocolate is not one of them. Consuming dark chocolate during pregnancy has many positive effects, as long as the daily amount of chocolate you eat in the normal range.
Black or dark chocolate is a source of antioxidants that neutralize the free acid in the body causes cell death, and protect against premature aging. It contains calcium, which contributes to bone health and is rich in copper, magnesium, potassium and iron.
It protects the health of the heart and circulatory system because the daily consumption of a slab of chocolate reduces blood pressure, prevents blood clots in the blood, reduces the level of “harmful” cholesterol in the blood and improves blood flow in the veins.
Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which acts against the depression, and endorphins, hormones that give a sense of satisfaction, and the low glycemic index is recommended to diabetics, especially pregnant women suffering from elevated blood sugar levels.
Dark chocolate for stress
When you’re stressed, your body is a chemical imbalance. During the long period of this situation can be detrimental to your health . Consuming a moderate amount of dark chocolate every day can help in balancing the chemical balance of the body. We can assume that the introduction of dark chocolate in a healthy and balanced diet to establish the chemical balance that will allow the body to be a better way to deal with stress.
Does black chocolate make you fat
I have no illusions, this is a highly caloric food, which contains an average of 550 calories even at 100 g. Calories originate mainly from fat, then from carbohydrates, and contains proteins in a smaller proportion.
The energy value and nutrient portions vary depending on the type of chocolate, including milk chocolate contain more calcium, while the dark chocolate contains less sugar and a high proportion of cocoa, and thus the number of phytochemicals, particularly polyphenols.
Since the original flavor of the fruit of the cocoa is very bitter, in the creation of chocolate most people want to add a large amount of sugar and fat which contributes to the risk of developing tooth decay, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes.
On the health aspect, dark chocolate has beneficial effects on health if you consume ones with a high proportion of cocoa (above 75%) only a few cubes a day.