Yes, I know, I know. That title isnât exactly comforting. Although it seems too good to be true, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! When consumed in moderation, this delicious treat has some powerful health benefits. And the truth is that you should probably be eating dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis because the stuff is pretty dang good for you. Following are 10 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate to indulge:
1.Â Good for Your Heart
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure.Â Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
2.Â Good for Your Brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke.
Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.
3.Â Helps to Control Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
4. Protects Your Skin
German researchers found that the flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, and improve skinâs hydration and complexion.
5. Full of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many vs prosolution types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.
6. Contains Theobromine
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel. That means that dark chocolate, unlike most other sweets, lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene.
Theobromine is also a mild stimulant, though not as strong as caffeine. It can, however, help to suppress coughs.
7. High in Vitamins and Minerals
Dark chocolate contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support your health. Dark chocolate contains some of the following vitamins and minerals in high concentrations:
The copper and potassium in dark chocolate help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments. The iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia, and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
8. Amazingly Good For Teeth
Chocolate lovers who indulge may need to be a wee bit concerned about weight but there’s no need to worry about tooth decay.
That’s because sugar alone will not produce tooth decay. And, in fact, a common ingredient found in dark chocolate actually reduces the growth of dental plaque.
9. How it is Good For Kids
Researcher and pediatrician Professor Melissa Wake said they found little difference in blood pressure before and after consuming the two buttons of dark chocolate.
Children aged 10-12 were given dark chocolate with a high antioxidant content every day.
Blood pressure, weight, height, body fat and waist circumference were measured throughout the study. Researchers found there was no significant weight gain.
10. HowÂ dark chocolate helps Pregnant Women
Your nutritional needs change during pregnancy, and some foods become unsafe to consume. Dark chocolate can provide benefits during pregnancy as long as you consume it in moderation.
Dark chocolate contains caffeine. During pregnancy, caffeine can decrease blood flow to the placenta, and large amounts may increase the risk of miscarriage. It is also a stimulant and can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. The March of Dimes recommends having only 200 mg or less of caffeine a day during pregnancy. Although 1 oz. of dark chocolate only contains 20 mg of caffeine, large amounts of dark chocolate can add up to an unsafe amount, especially if you consume other caffeine sources like coffee or soft drinks.
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