Dark Chocolate

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:

Happiness

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.

Weight loss

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.


29 Apr, 2014

4 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate

  1. I love my dark chocolate! I get dark chocolate bars from the Melaleuca Company. The ones I get have 66% cacao and other ingredients specifically to help with memory, concentration and recall added. They are called ‘Unforgettables’ and they are good.

    I have known about dark chocolate for a while and have tried to get some in when I can. I’m not a big fan of chocolate, (I don’t know why) I never have been, but these chocolate bars are really good and not really sweet.

    They only have 9 grams of sugar per serving which I think is great for a candy bar. Glad to know something like a candy bar can be good for you. Great information Ilana.

    1. Thanks Lisa! Yes there is still lots of information being highlighted about the benefits of chocolate. I have to say I prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate but wouldn’t say no to either. Certain brands taste better than others.

      As you say Lisa, it’s nice to know that something like a candy bar (chocolate) can be good for our health. Usually the experts are telling us to avoid candy bars at all costs!

  2. I love chocolate so it’s no surprise when I say one of my favourite movies is ‘Chocolat.’ I am amazed at the benefits of dark chocolate and it will certainly be on my shopping list.

    I know it is good for us, but I had no idea how extensive those benefits were. It’s a great post, thank you.

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