They didn’t call it food for the gods for nothing.
When it comes to healthy foods, you probably don’t think dark chocolate belongs in the list. But many health experts know this chocolate can positively affect our body’s health. These health benefits are primarily attributed to the main ingredient in this snack: cocoa.
Dark chocolate is made from the see of the cocoa plant. This plant itself contains several antioxidants that can improve our health. If you’re one of the few people who need more convincing about eating more dark chocolates, the following are good reasons why you should snack on them:
- Vitamins and Minerals
A hundred grams of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content can offer you with 98% manganese RDA, 89% copper RDA, and 11 grams of fiber. It also has magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus.
The cocoa beans are responsible for the high amount of antioxidants in dark chocolates. These antioxidants include flavanols, catechins, and polyphenols among many others. There is one study that supports the high content of antioxidants in dark chocolates, beating other fruits, such as acai and blueberries.
- For Blood Flow and Arteries
Eating more dark chocolates can provide you with ample amounts of flavanols, which can help stimulate the artery lining to relax the arteries, which can improve blood flow. This therefore lowers blood pressure. In this case, dark chocolates are good for people with hypertension.
- For Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Aside from protecting against high blood pressure, dark chocolates can also help control cholesterol levels. This snack can prevent increase in LDL, which is considered the bad cholesterol, while increasing HDL, the good one. Once again, this can be credited to the cocoa content in the chocolate.
- For the Heart
Since dark chocolates can prevent hypertension as well as high LDL cholesterol, they can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This has been proven in one 15-year-long study that involved 470 men who consumed cocoa. These men saw a reduced risk of death by cardiovascular disease by up to 50%.
- For the Skin
Flavonols in the chocolates can also help in reducing sun damage. Eating more chocolates is said to improve blood flow throughout the skin as well as increasing hydration and skin density.
Chocolates are not created equal; dark chocolates are not favored by many over milk and other sweet chocolate variants. Cocoa makes dark chocolates bitter and that’s because of the 400 polyphenols found in it. While dark chocolates are very healthy, you may want to avoid eating too much since they still contain sugar and have about 600 calories per 100 grams.