Who hasn’t dreamt of eating chocolate guilt-free and more often than on special occasions and holidays? What is we told you, you could!
Whether you’re looking to boost your brain function or enjoy a delicious and nutritious treat, eating dark chocolate can help. In this article, we’ll discuss what we believe are the top 5 benefits of dark chocolate.
What Is Dark Chocolate?
Before we get into our list, let’s quickly discuss what dark chocolate is.
What distinguishes dark chocolate from other types of chocolate is the amount of cocoa it contains, typically 50% to 100%. For example, a plain 99% dark chocolate bar contains 99% cocoa, meaning 99% of the chocolate was made from ingredients found only in the cocoa bean.
1 . Rich in Antioxidants
First on our list of the top benefits of dark chocolate is its abundance of antioxidants.
Dark chocolate is packed with organic compounds that function as antioxidants, the most notable are flavanols. Flavanols have been shown to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and play a role in the prevention of heart disease. These effects are what make dark chocolate a superfood favorite.
2. Provides Essential Vitamins and Nutrients
Dark chocolate is considered a superfood favorite not only for its abundance of antioxidants but also because it provides essential vitamins and nutrients.
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage contains protein, fiber, and minerals, such as copper, iron, and manganese. It also contains, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. But, like most foods, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation because it also contains caffeine, carbohydrates, and fat.
3. Boosts Your Brain Activity
Eating dark chocolate can stimulate brain activity. Studies have shown that the potential dark chocolate-related brain function improvements stem from consuming high-flavanol cocoa, like dark chocolate. It can improve blood flow and oxygenation to the brain which can help reduce brain fog and improve focus.
Additionally, nibbling on some dark chocolate daily can help decrease stress and improve cognitive function.
4. Good for Your Skin
Dark chocolate’s antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can be great for the skin.
Dark chocolate’s flavanols can help increase the skin’s density and hydration and improve blood flow to the skin. Some studies have found that dark chocolate may help protect the skin from the sun’s emitted UV rays. And, it’s been shown that manganese supports the production of collagen which is a protein that helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and hydration.
5. Can Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is dark chocolate’s role in improving heart health.
A 2017 review of studies found that eating dark chocolate 3 times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease, specifically heart disease. In addition, a 2020 review of studies suggested that chocolate can help keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy, and eating chocolate more than once a week was associated with a decreased risk of blocked arteries.
The percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate can affect the magnitude of its benefits. Therefore, it’s suggested you choose dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher to ensure you’re gaining all its incredible benefits.
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