Fun fact: The average American consumes more than 10 pounds of chocolate every year
Known as a great energy booster, dark chocolate is filled with essential nutrients that make it a healthier chocolate option to satisfy your sweet cravings. The nutrients you get from the dark chocolate is better emphasized in the Healing Foods Pyramid, which shows what food to take to nourish the body, among many other benefits.
Dark chocolates are made using cocoa beans, which is the main ingredient of the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains at least 60% cocoa giving it a rich and powerful flavor. But dark chocolate is more than its bittersweet taste, it is likewise packed with other nutrients that you need.
Because dark chocolates are primarily made of cocoa beans, they are very high in flavanols. Flavanols are antioxidants that protect your cells from damages. Cocoa flavanols in particular help in blood circulation, cognitive, and cardiovascular health.
Dark chocolates are rich in dietary fiber, a carbohydrate that makes you feel full faster. So it is a great food for people who want to lose weight but could not cut off sweets instantly. For every 100 grams of dark chocolates is 28% daily value of dietary fiber.
It is also a good source of potassium and protein. The 15% DV of potassium helps offset excess sodium in the food while transporting healthy nutrients into the cells and waste products out from the cells. The 9% DV of protein is important to refurnish the body with the right amount of protein needed to strengthen muscles and bones.
Dark chocolates are also very rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron. The 5% DV of calcium for healthy functioning of bones, muscles and blood vessels. Magnesium, at 36% DV, keeps a healthy immune system and assists in the production of energy and protein. The 44% DV of iron is very important to transport oxygen through the body.
Cocoa found in dark chocolates contains stearic acid and oleic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that helps reduce cholesterol level. The stearic acid, although a saturated fat, does not raise blood cholesterol level like what other form of saturated fat do.
It also contains small amount of caffeine to raise alert level and energy as well.
However, one should not overindulge himself with dark chocolates since it still contains sugar and fat. Moreover, 100 grams of dark chocolate has of 546 calories, relatively higher than most kinds of fruits and vegetables.
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Chocolates are one of the most resorted comfort and cheat foods. Chocolates have many known effects on the psychological stability of a person. But what are not very known are its important physiological health benefits. What we mostly know about chocolates is that they are very fattening. In fact they are called to be one of the primary sources of cholesterol that can cause weight gain which can lead to obesity. Obesity is the stepping stone to many more serious illnesses. The truth here lies beyond the level of chocolate intake. If you indulge yourself on too much chocolate then the tendency to gain weight is highly probable. But if you if eat chocolates with moderation, you will be surprised with its amazing beneficial effects to the human body.
Moderate eating of dark chocolates optimizes the general health of human beings. Constant research and studies have proven that chocolates contain antioxidants called flavanoids and polyphenols. Dark chocolates, as compared to other types of chocolates have more cocoa content which made this type of contain more flavanoids and polyphenols by about 3-4 times more than other types of chocolates. When we speak of delicious treats, dark chocolates will immediately be one in mind. Who would have thought that dark chocolates, one of the most feared foods by those who want to achieve a healthy and fit body, have contents that are significantly good for the human body?
Fights Off Diseases through building Self-defense mechanism
Antioxidants are essential for the total health condition of the body. Dark chocolate contains high level of antioxidants called flavanoids. Dark chocolate is infused with 28 flavanoids per 100g serving while milk chocolate only has 13 and white chocolate has 8. Based on antioxidants measure called ORAC or the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, cocoa is jam-packed with organic compounds that actively serve as effective antioxidants. Antioxidants are very important because they set the body’s defense against systems’ abnormalities that can lead to serious illnesses.
Avoids High Blood Pressure
The endothelium is the lining of the arteries that serves as its protective wall. Flavanoids cause endothelium to produce Nitric Oxide that functions as artery relaxors to stimulate proper blood circulation. With the presence of high levels of flavanoids in the endothelium, high blood pressure is avoided. Eating dark chocolates can improve blood flow therefore avoiding various disorders and illnesses related to such.
Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases
Researchers found protective compounds in dark chocolates that lower the LDL or the bad types of cholesterol. LDL damages your tissues as well as the arteries in the heart. Because of its antioxidants properties, dark chocolates eliminate LDL that causes cardiovascular diseases. Research and studies were conducted in this light and concluded that those who have dark chocolates 2-3 times a week have stabilized and healthy arteries and heart condition. On top of that, it has been found that eating more than 5x of dark chocolate a week decreases the chances of heart ailments by almost 60%.
Protection against Skin Damage
Flavonoids do not only stimulate blood circulation in the arteries but in the entirety of the body. With improved blood flow the skin is benefited. It reduces chances of sun damaged skin plus helps you achieve dense and hydrated skin.
Optimizes the Brain
Have you ever wondered why chocolate is called as food for the brain? This is because flavanoids effectively improve the function of our brain. Because blood flow in the brain is regulated, it is able to function at its peak therefore causing increased cognitive abilities and improved memory. Dark chocolate keeps your brain at its optimal state. This is why chocolates effectively keep us awake and attentive whenever studying or having mental exercises.
Promotes A Healthier Heart
Provided that dark chocolates eliminate the bad types of cholesterols in the body, it is able to help to have a healthy heart condition. Dark chocolates also regulate proper blood flow therefore avoiding blood pressure and blockage in the arteries that can cause stroke, heart attack, and other more heart illnesses. It has been proven that those who consume chocolates more than 5 times in seven days are less exposed to heart-related ailments.
Helps in Losing Weight
It is safe to assume that dark chocolate is good for the body especially when consumed moderately. Experts say that having 200grams to 300grams of chocolate a week is considered as moderate consumption. Moderate consumption of chocolates lowers level of cholesterol in the body and avoids development of unwanted fats. The fiber content of dark chocolates also regulates proper bowel movement as well as improves digestion.
Dark chocolates are infused with many nutrients beneficial to the human body. They are even great sources of fiber, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium and phosphorus. Moderate consumption of dark chocolates can bring many important health benefits so make sure to incorporate it in your diet plan.