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health benefits from dark chocolate- a wrapped bar of dark chocolate

In my post on 7 ways to enjoy chocolate, I mentioned that there are health benefits associated with eating dark chocolate (in moderation). In this post, I want to delve a little deeper and share more about the health benefits from dark chocolate.

5 Health Benefits from Dark Chocolate

1/ Deliciously Nutritious

Dark chocolate is surprisingly full of dietary vitamins and minerals. Dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa includes:

  • Fibre
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • And more!

2/ Heartily Healthy

Regular consumption of dark chocolate could help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease. The flavanols (the main type of flavonoid contained in dark chocolate) can improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

health benefits from dark chocolate- 2 dark chocolate bars with red background

3/ Ample Antioxidants

Dark chocolate contains biologically active organic compounds that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for protecting the body’s cells from damage brought about by free radicals and other factors such as toxins.

Dark chocolate is also associated with potential cancer prevention as its antioxidants can decrease oxidative stress. Oxidative stress over a period of time may contribute to the development of cancer and other illnesses.

4/ Brain Brilliance

Eating dark chocolate is thought to help prevent neurodegenerative conditions eg. Alzheimers and Parkinson’s diseases. Dark chocolate is also linked with the improvement of blood flow to the brain and better concentration. This helps in cognitive functions particularly in the elderly.

5/ Mood Mender

Dark chocolate is a yummy way to enhance your mood. It comprises phenethylamine which releases endorphins that help you feel good and boosts your mood. Studies also show that it can help with stress and anxiety as properties found in dark chocolate affect stress hormones. It also can increase energy levels and therefore is another enjoyable alternative to consider.

health benefits from dark chocolate- ritter sport dark chocolate bar

Learning more about the health benefits from dark chocolate certainly has me ready to purchase a bar. Remember that the higher the cocoa percentage, the better the chocolate is for you: 70%-85% is generally recommended. However, keep in mind that dark chocolate still needs to be consumed in moderation. Personally, I enjoy a square or 2 once or twice a week but I have it less frequently depending on my fitness goals for a particular timeframe.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about dark chocolate. Please share in the comments below.


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Sources

Dr Axe

Everyday Health

Healthline

Medical News Today

Natural Food Series


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Post Author: Tamika G

20 Replies to “Health Benefits From Dark Chocolate”

  1. I wish that milk chocolate had the same benefits!
    Honestly, I’ve tried so hard to like dark chocolate because I know it’s healthier, but I just can’t. It’s too bitter for me. Maybe I’ll give it another try 🙂

    1. Hi Ashli, thanks for your comment. Yes, dark chocolate was certainly an acquired taste for me but it’s become a favourite of mine now. Maybe you can ease into it, so go for a lowe percentage with nuts or fruit or something to help you adjust to making the switch and then increase the percentages from there.

  2. That’s crazy, I never thought chocolate to help you neurologically. My Dad really got into how the brain functions as a whole and separate. That’s awesome to know that it increases blood flow, do you think that might be because of the caffeine in it.?

    1. Hi Nate, yes I was pleasantly surprised by all the health benefits from dark chocolate as a lot are not things that you would think would be enhanced. It’s the flavanol in the dark chocolate that helps with improved blood flow in the brain.

  3. I love dark chocolate. It is especially good when paired with fruit I think. I also enjoy it with glass of red wine. Def a good alternative for someone on a diet to treat themselves!! Great points in this article about its benefits.

  4. Great article Tamika, I’m going to the gym and doing weight lifting, so for me is very important to choose the right sweets when I’m craving for something sweet and dark chocolate is my savior. I love dark chocolate and it’s the healthiest choice of all possible sweets, I’m a personal trainer as well and always recommend dark chocolate for my clients. However, we have to be careful with dark chocolate and can’t eat too much, because it’s really high in calories and fats. Thank you for pointing out the health benefits of dark chocolate.

    1. Hi Marius, thank you for reading. Yes, I can certainly appreciate the need for moderation in eating dark chocolate even with its health benefits. Too much will definitely be an issue and can be a hindrance in weight loss fitness goals. It’s great to have your perspective as a fitness professional.

  5. Great post here. I do eat regular dark chocolate and I know most of the benefits. The one I did not know is the helping with enhancing my mood.
    What dark chocolate would you most recommend for this?

    1. Thanks Thabo for taking the time to comment. The mood enhancement is associated with dark chocolate in general but I’d suggest one with 70-85% cocoa.

  6. That’s a very interesting article. I had heard dark chocolate had health benefits but I didn’t realise the health benefits were that great and there were so many.

    I know it improves my mood and I also know it’s not that easy to eat just a little! I found learning about its high anti-oxidant properties interesting. Thank you.

    1. Hi, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I’m glad that you were able to learn something new as there certainly are lots of health benefits from dark chocolate. I definitely agree with you that it can be hard to eat a small portion.

  7. As if I needed another reason to eat chocolate! I adore chocolate but it had been a bane of my existence until I learned about dark chocolate and its benefits. I like how you lay out all the great qualities and nutrients in dark chocolate, especially as a woman of a certain age. I can use all the help I can get to enhance my health and I definitely include dark chocolate as part of my regimen. Thanks for the great info.

    1. Hi Dawn, thank you for your comment and for sharing. I’m glad to hear you include dark chocolate in your diet. It’s definitely lovely to be enjoyed in moderation 🙂

  8. This article definitely gave me a better understanding about the health benefits of dark chocolate. Thanks a lot for sharing this information!

  9. Hi Tamika,

    Really enjoyed this breakdown of dark chocolate and its health benefits.

    I am a lover of all things chocolate, but I really have a soft spot for dark chocolate, whether it be those dark chocolate balls for probiotic purposes, or other forms in block or stick chocolate form.

    I appreciate the article and your website, which is very well constructed.

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