People who have a penchant for sweet treats would be quick to enumerate the health benefits of chocolate if you ask them why they like eating milk chocolate. Although they may not be totally accurate since milk chocolate contains a lot of sugar, there is no denying that chocolate, especially the dark variety, does possess advantageous properties.
What is dark chocolate? Similar to the more familiar milk chocolate, dark chocolate is made from roasted cacao beans which have been processed. The difference between these two is the amount of cocoa solids that they have. While milk chocolate has milk and sugar added to its 10 percent cocoa liquor content, dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids with little or no sugar added. Dark chocolate is also referred to as bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate.
Below are a few more facts that you should know about dark chocolate:
Dark chocolate is a health food
The nutritional properties that dark chocolate possesses make it one of the healthiest foods found on this planet. It has powerful anti-oxidants called flavonoids, which promotes healthy blood circulation and prevents plaque from forming in the arteries. Thus, it keeps your cardiovascular system working properly. In addition, the minerals iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese and copper are present in dark chocolate.
While these nutritional benefits may be a good excuse for gorging on dark chocolate, you might do well to remember that even if it is healthy, it is still calorie-laden and contains a high amount of fat. Hence, limit your consumption to 1 or 2 ounces every day.
Eating dark chocolate makes you happy
There is a reason why eating a piece of dark chocolate can make lift your mood. Chocolates contain the chemicals, Phenylethylamine and Trytophan, which prompts the brain to release endorphins, a chemical which creates a positive feeling in the body. The uplifted feeling that chocolate provides has often been compared to the feeling of euphoria associated with being in love.
There is a connection between dark chocolate and beauty
Being under stress elevates the levels of stress hormones found in the body; and this can affect your outward appearance. One undesirable outcome of this condition is the breakdown of collagen in the skin, which results in more wrinkles. Fortunately, dark chocolate contains nutrients that not only lessen the levels of stress hormones in the body but also minimize the appearance of wrinkles, in addition to maintaining youthful-looking skin. Additionally, the anti-oxidants in dark chocolate can protect your skin from sun damage and help prevent the appearance of sunspots.