How healthy is dark chocolate?
Have you ever dreamt of eating chocolate guilt-free? Now you have the perfect excuse with dark chocolate! Chocolate containing 70% or more cocoa is loaded with nutrients that positively affect your health. So now you can get your chocolate fix and feel good about it too.
Chocolate comes from the seed of the cocoa tree(Theobroma Cacao) and is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. But what are the health benefits of dark chocolate really?
1. Good for your heart
People who eat dark chocolate more than five times a week reduced their risk of heart disease by 57 per cent, according to a study published in the Journal Clinical Nutrition. And dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate.
Flavonoids are plant chemicals that act as antioxidants and play a role in heart health, as well as cancer prevention according to an article published in the Journal of Nutritional Science “Flavonoids: an Overview”.
The cocoa tree also contains a compound called theobromine, which can help reduce inflammation and potentially lower blood pressure.
“Cacao is packed with numerous antioxidants – actually more than green tea or red wine – and the darker you go, the more antioxidants you’ll get” – Toby Amidor, RD
2. Boost Your Mood
You’re not imagining it chocolate does make you feel better, that’s why it’s a perfect guilty pleasure after a stressful day. Kicking up your feet and collapsing into your favourite armchair to indulge. But what’s the science behind this feelgood factor?
Well, out of eight studies on chocolate and mood, five showed improvements in mood, and three showed “clear evidence of cognitive enhancement,” according to a systematic review published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
3. Help with weight loss
Lose weight by eating chocolate? Its seem counter-intuitive but yes eating chocolate can help with weight loss, but not how you might think.
In his book “Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight” Neuroscientist Will Clower, PhD, writes how a bit of dark chocolate before or after meals triggers hormones in your brain that say you’re full.
But that’s eating a moderate amount, of course, consuming large quantities of chocolate is counterproductive to losing weight.
4. Good for your skin
Dark chocolate is packed full of vitamins and minerals — like copper, iron, and magnesium, to name a few — they are also beneficial to your skin. Dark chocolate is rich in:
Manganese, for example, supports the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin looking young and healthy. And the high levels of antioxidants present in dark chocolate may protect skin from the powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun, according to several earlier studies.
So how much dark chocolate & what kind?
Now before we all start binge eating dark chocolate, remember it’s still chocolate and high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce) and if it’s eaten in excess can contribute to weight gain. The recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is 1-2 ounces (or 32g – 64g).
Remember, to get these benefits the dark chocolate you eat needs to have at least 70% cocoa. Chocolate bars with lower percentages of cocoa have more added sugar, milk products and even unhealthy fats.
So go forth and indulge – guilt-free – with our high-quality bean-to-bar craft chocolate, and reap the health benefits too.
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