Consuming high-cocoa dark chocolate in limit can provide antioxidants and minerals as well as possibly reduce your risk of heart disease. However, it could also be heavy in calories and sugar.
There are several nutrients in dark chocolate that are good for your health.
According to studies, dark chocolate can enhance your health while also lowering your risk of developing heart disease.
Here are 7 scientifically proven health advantages of dark chocolate or cocoa.
Fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and a few more elements are abundant in high-quality dark chocolate. If you get premium dark chocolate with a significant cocoa content, it is very nourishing.
It is rich in minerals and has a fair level of soluble fiber.
Dark chocolate is also a good source of selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.
It’s recommended to consume dark chocolate in moderation. Dark chocolate and cocoa have a healthy fatty acid composition. Oleic acid, a heart-healthy fat also present in olive oil, stearic acid, and palmitic acid make up the majority of the fats.
Although it includes accelerators like theobromine and caffeine, dark chocolate is not likely to keep you up at night because its caffeine content is so much lower than that of coffee.
Strong Antioxidant Source
Oxygen radical absorbance capacity is referred to as ORAC. It is a gauge of a food’s antioxidant capacity.
In essence, scientists test a food sample against a group of harmful free radicals to examine how well the antioxidants in the food can neutralize the free radicals.
This research suggests that chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants. However, its biological relevance is contested because ORAC is evaluated in a test tube and could not have the same impact on the body.
The breadth of antioxidant benefits of chocolate has not always been studied in humans. However, experts claim that there is not yet enough data to make a firm conclusion.
Biologically active and useful organic components are abundant in dark chocolate. Catechins, flavonols, and polyphenols are a few examples of them. The polyphenols in dark chocolate can significantly minimize some types of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. According to one study, which also included blueberries and acai berries among other fruits, cocoa and dark chocolate had greater antioxidant capacity, polyphenols, and flavanols than any other fruits.
Strong antioxidants are abundant in cocoa and dark chocolate. They actually contain a lot more than the majority of other foods.
Reduce Blood Pressure and Enhance Blood Flow
The endothelium, the lining of arteries, can be stimulated to create nitric oxide by the flavonoids in dark chocolate (NO). One of NO’s jobs is to tell the arteries to relax, which lowers the blood flow resistance and lowers blood pressure.
Although the results are often modest, numerous controlled studies have demonstrated that cocoa and dark chocolate can enhance blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
It’s possible that adding cocoa flavanols to the diet won’t provide any further benefits for persons who are already taking medication for high blood pressure.
It is obvious that additional study is required given the significant differences between studies on this topic.
Increases HDL and Guards Against Oxidation of LDL
Dark chocolate consumption can lower numerous significant heart disease risk factors. It might guard against elevated cholesterol.
Eating dark chocolate with the flavanol lycopene added helped lower levels of triglycerides, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and total cholesterol.
Some LDL cholesterol variants have a higher propensity to oxidize, which occurs when they come into contact with free radicals in your body. The LDL particle itself becomes reactive due to oxidation and is capable of causing damage to various tissues, including the walls of the arteries in your heart.
Several significant disease risk factors are reduced by dark chocolate. It reduces LDL which is prone to oxidation and raises insulin sensitivity.
Potentially Shields your Skin from the Sun
The bioactive ingredients in dark chocolate might be beneficial for your skin as well. The flavanols can boost skin thickness and hydration, defend against sun damage, and promote blood flow to the skin. The bare minimum of UVB photons needed to make skin red for 24 hours after exposure is known as the minimal erythemal dose (MED). And keep in mind that nothing can substitute sunscreen and other forms of sun protection like chocolate. According to studies, cocoa flavanols can increase the circulation of the blood and shield it from sun exposure.
Might Enhance Brain Performance
Dark chocolate may help your brain work better.
According to studies, young individuals who consume high-flavanol chocolate have better blood flow to their brains. This may help to explain why drinking cocoa regularly seems to enhance language learning, memory, and attention.
Additionally, cocoa flavonoids may help elderly folks with memory problems improve cognitive function and lessen the likelihood that dementia may develop.