Learn the many health benefits of dark chocolate including being heart-healthy, good for your skin, and rich in antioxidants.
Chocolate never seems to fail someone that has a sweet tooth. Quality dark chocolate, not the usual milk chocolate candy bar, has many health benefits that make it justifiable to enjoy.
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Chocolate has long been viewed as the ultimate comfort food, as well as one of the most popular foods in the world. However, due to the over consumption of this silky, creamy, sweet food, many health practitioners warn against it. We’re told that it’s full of calories and does little in the way of real nutrition.
Are there any health benefits to consuming dark chocolate?
Obviously, over-consumption of any food can have a detrimental effect on general health. Recent studies, however, have shown that consumption (in moderation) of dark chocolate has many health benefits. So, eating roughly an ounce of dark chocolate every day is actually good for you!
Why only dark chocolate, and not milk chocolate?
The reason is that when you compare dark chocolate with milk chocolate, dark chocolate offers nutritional benefit. Dark chocolate has more fiber and nutrients, and less sugars and cholesterol.
It is important to note that when referring to dark chocolate, we are talking about chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70% and more.
The Key Health Advantages of Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Lowers Cholesterol
In studies, dark chocolate has proven to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). As we know, too much bad cholesterol causes heart disease, among other things.
Dark Chocolate is Good for the Heart
Dark chocolate contains nutrients that are known to help lower blood sugar and increase blood flow. Studies have shown that it can reduce cardiovascular death by up to fifty percent.
Dark Chocolate Improves Your Skin
Dark chocolate contains lots of flavanols, which protect the skin against sun damage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can or should go without sunscreen, but it does mean that the flavanols may reduce the damage on the skin due to the sun.
Dark Chocolate May Prevent Diabetes
It has been shown that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity. This means that it can improve blood sugar levels because of its properties, allowing it to be incorporated into a diabetic diet.
Dark Chocolate is Nutritious
Dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium. It is also a good source of fiber, containing about 2 grams per ounce.
Dark Chocolate is Rich in Antioxidants
Dark chocolate also contains a vast number of antioxidants, which are great for promoting heart health, decreasing risk of infection, and fighting free radicals in the body. The cocoa tree is an amazing source of antioxidant properties. It has even been determined that dark chocolate has a higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries or Acai berries.
Considering all the health benefits, it is easy to see why indulging in dark chocolate is as helpful as it is delicious.