Can Dark Chocolate Really be Good for You?
Chocolate has a bad reputation especially among people who try to live healthy or trying to maintain a healthy weight. However, studies have shown that chocolate - dark chocolate in particular, which is not the kind you find in candy bars, can actually be good for your health. If you have a sweet tooth, this might sound too good to be true but the health benefits of cocoa have been tested and proven.
Dark chocolate is the good stuff. By just eating a small square of good dark chocolate on a daily basis can help you improve your health in many different ways. It really is surprising to think that dark chocolate is actually good for you but it is very rich in fibre, magnesium, copper, manganese, and a host of other minerals. Studies have also shown that the cocoa bean, where dark chocolate comes from, has the potential to help improve skin health, brain function, cardiovascular health, and even reduce the risk of cancer. Check out some of the health benefits of cocoa
Dark chocolate can help lower risk of heart disease and blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains really high amounts of flavanols which are a type of phytochemicals. These flavanols have the power to improve and influence vascular health. In fact, dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory powers which mean that it can actually reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as it lowers the levels of LDL in the body. Researchers have also noted that insulin resistance can be lowered by simply eating a bit of dark chocolate on a daily basis.
Flavanols protect the skin from sun damage. A study that was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology back in 2009 states that eating dark chocolate can protect the skin from UV rays. The reason for this is because flavanols have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help the cells resist damage that is brought about by free radicals. Also, cocoa butter that comes from the cocoa bean contains vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant.
Dark chocolate helps improve brain function. Chocolate contains theobromines which is a stimulant that is very similar to caffeine. When ingested, these theobromines actually help improve brain function and boost mental clarity. It can also act as a mood booster.Other substances that are found in dark chocolate that can bring a lot of benefits to the body include phenethylamine and anandamide. The first works to help the body release endorphins which then releases dopamine. The second is a type of neurochemical that helps bring about feelings of bliss. It is no wonder eating chocolate makes people feel so happy and pleasant.
Another bonus for eating dark chocolate is that it enhances serotonin. Since this is the chemical responsible for regulating one’s sleep and moods, dark chocolate can actually help people that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
What Types of Chocolate to Eat?
Before you go and dig in to your stash of candy bars, you should take note that you should go for dark chocolate that has higher concentrations of cocoa solids. Milk chocolate candy bars might taste good but they are often loaded with sugar and lots of unhealthy fats.