Dark chocolate is made from the seed of the cocoa tree, a plant that has high levels of minerals and antioxidants.
Commercial chocolate has high levels of sugar, milk, cocoa butter, but a small quantity of cocoa, whereas dark chocolate has less sugar and large amount of cocoa as compared to milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate is loaded with minerals and is proven to improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Dark Chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants
Dark chocolate has a wide variety of powerful antioxidants – more than most other foods.
ORAC stands for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity” which is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
Researchers set a bunch of free radicals against a sample of a food to see how well the anti-oxidants in the food can kill the radicals.
Raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest scoring food for antioxidants that have been tested. Dark Chocolates are loaded with organic compounds that function as antioxidants.
Dark Chocolate Is Loaded with Minerals
If you are buying a dark chocolate with high cocoa content, it is highly nutritious. The chocolate contains a decent quantity of soluble fiber and is loaded with nutrients.
The breakdown for a 100 gram bar with 70-85% of cocoa contains:
- 67% of the RDI for iron
- 58% of the RDI for magnesium
- 89% of the RDI for copper
- 98% of the RDI for manganese
- 11 grams of fiber
Quality dark chocolate is rich in copper, iron, magnesium, fiber, manganese and few other minerals.
Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Blood Flow
Bioactive compounds in cocoa improves blood flow and causes a small but significant decrease in blood pressure.
The nutrients in dark chocolate stimulate the lining of the arteries, which in turn produces nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide sends signals the arteries to relax that helps in lowering the resistance to blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
Much of the research shows that cocoa can improve blood pressure with mild effects.
Dark Chocolate Protects skin from Sun Damage
As the dark chocolate increases the blood flow in your body, the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate are also great for your skin.
Dark chocolate can increase the skin density and hydration of the skin. In a research of 30 people, the minimal erythemal dose (MED), which is the minimum amount required to cause redness in the skin was high for 12 weeks.
If you are planning a beach trip, do consider buying and consuming dark chocolate in the prior week and month to save yourself from the sun burn.
Dark Chocolate Improves Brain Function
As dark chocolate contains high amount of cocoa, which is linked to increasing the blood flow in human body, consuming dark chocolate can and may improve the function of your brain long-term.
Eating dark chocolate can increase the blood flow to the brain for up to five days.
It may also help in improving verbal fluency and decrease the risk of several risk for diseases.
There is reasonable evidence that cocoa provides powerful health benefits, especially protecting against heart disease.
Of course, you should not consume a lot of chocolate. It is still high in calories and is easy to overeat.
You can set a time or an amount and consume that after every lunch, dinner and breakfast. If you are looking for benefits of cocoa without calories, make a hot cocoa without using sugar or cream to make it.
Be careful with what you buy! Not all chocolate is healthy, and some can be harmful. Always choose quality items and chocolate that has 70% or more cocoa in it. The less sugar dark chocolates have, the better it is for your health.
Chocolate is one of those foods where it provides health benefits and it tasty at the same time.