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:
- 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.
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.
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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