The benefits of eating dark chocolate have been the subject of many recent studies and the outcome of these is that benefits are now widely acknowledged.
The goodness of chocolate comes from its cacao concentration. Chocolate contains as many as 300 compounds that provide extreme health benefits, including polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat. The key is to ensure a high quality chocolate, that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.
What are the benefits of eating dark chocolate?
Studies have shown benefits to include:
Similar to exercising, eating dark chocolate raises endorphins, which are known to reduce stress, due to the chocolate’s phenylethylamine (PEA) content. Additionally, cacao also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is used to make serotonin the neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods, making you feel happy. In essence, it acts as an antidepressant.
Lower Blood Pressure and stroke
Dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoids, making it a heart healthy food. Those who consume dark chocolate have lower blood pressure as well as improved blood flow. An improved blood flow to the brain leads to a decreased risk of a stroke.
Protection against cancer
Cacao is also full of polyphenol antioxidants. Amazingly, cacao has higher levels of polyphenol antioxidants than the other so-called “super foods,” such as blueberries, acai berries, and pomegranates. These polyphenol antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which helps slows the aging process and are known to help protect the body from cancer and heart disease.
According to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, dark chocolate imparts feelings of fullness, in addition to quashing cravings for sweets, fatty foods and salt.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity, which leads to a healthy endocrine system and a healthy weight. Some studies even indicate that consuming cacao can contribute to helping prevent diabetes.
Finally, not only is chocolate a sweet indulgence we can’t seem to get enough of, but is also good for you. It’s a winning combination.