One health benefit of dark chocolate is that it is very nutritious. Believe it or not, dark chocolate actually has many nutrients are good for your health. Dark chocolate is even said to be one of the best sources of antioxidants. One thing you need to remember is that dark chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa and is different from chocolate that is mostly made of sugar.
Here are the benefits of dark chocolate:
1. Dark chocolate is nutritious
If you want to get the most benefit from dark chocolate, you need to buy high quality dark chocolate, which means dark chocolate with high cocoa content. That kind of dark chocolate is good for your body because it is nutritious. It contains iron, magnesium, fiber, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, as well as selenium.
Even though dark chocolate is rich with various minerals your body needs, you cannot take a large amount of dark chocolate right away. The reason is that one hundred grams of dark chocolate has six hundred calories and moderate amounts of sugar. This is why it is always better to consume dark chocolate moderately.
Dark chocolate also has stimulants like theobromine and caffeine. Unlike coffee though, the caffeine contained in dark chocolate is very small, so it will not keep you awake at night.
2. Dark chocolate is a good antioxidant
Another reason dark chocolate is good for you is because it is a powerful source of antioxidants. Based on ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) which measures the antioxidant activity of foods, raw cocoa beans — basic material for chocolate — are one of foods with highest scores in ORAC.
Dark chocolate has polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, which are compounds that function as antioxidants.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
How can dark chocolate help you to lower your blood pressure? Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which stimulate endothelium or lining of arteries, so they produce nitric oxide. The function of nitric oxide is to make arteries relax which will lower resistance to blood flow and thus lower blood pressure.
Many studies show that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow, even if the effects are mild.
4. Dark Chocolate Might Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Cocoa powder dan decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men while increasing HDL and lowering total LDL Oxidized LDL is LDL, which is also known as bad cholesterol, that reacts with free radicals. Oxidized LDL makes LDL capable of damaging other tissues, like the lining of arteries in your heart, which can cause heart problem.
Aside from that, dark chocolate also lessens insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Compounds in dark chocolate can protect LDL so it will not get oxidized. It means, in long term, it can lessen the amount of cholesterol that lodge in arteries which means lower risk of heart disease.
A study shows that eating chocolate two or more three times every week can lower the risk of getting calcified plagued in the arteries. While another study reveals that eating dark chocolate more than five times every week can lower the risk of heart disease by fifty seven percent.
To get health benefit of dark chocolate, you need to consume it moderately.