Dark Chocolate is a superfood that should be included in your daily diet. It has special ingredients which provide antioxidant, anti-aging, and lipid reduction effects.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidant substances such as polyphenols, catechins, and procyanidin. Dark chocolate also contains other essential nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and iron. Thus the dark chocolate can regulate cholesterol levels and regulate blood flow to the vital organs.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, iron, and magnesium. It also contains endorphins that provide feelings of happiness. Dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, thus preventing heart disease because of the presence of flavanols in dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, etc., many antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, a plant compounds in dark chocolate, all these majorly comprise polyphenols. And it contains N number of proven health benefits.
What is Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is a solid bar of chocolate that is produced by adding cacao butter and sugar to the cacao bean.
Cacao is the fruit harvested from trees in cocoa plantations located in various parts of the world. The Cacao bean is a pod-like fruit that is round and plump in shape. The outside of the cocoa bean is brown or black while the inside contains a white pulp tissue.
Cocoa butter is a fat obtained from cacao beans which gives consistency.
BeeTee's Melt 72% Dark chocolate bars are made by mixing roasted cacao nibs with palm sugar, cacao butter to improve texture and smoothness. And it contains no vegetable oils or other fats. And the all the BeeTee's Melt chocolates are preservative-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
Now we will introduce 7 health benefits of Dark Chocolate
The following are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate that have been found from including Dark chocolate in our daily diet:
1. Improves Heart Health
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
3. Prevents Cancer
4. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
5. Lowers Risk of Stroke
6. Keeps Skin Healthy and
7. Boosts Mood
Let's the health benefits of chocolates one by one.
1. Improves Heart Health
The antioxidant content of dark chocolate helps to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
This anti-oxidant prevents the formation of plaque inside arteries clogging them with cholesterol. Flavoniods, a plant compounds in dark chocolate, including epicatechin, a catechin that is found in fruits like apples and grapes, vegetables like red cabbage or purple cauliflower, and in some teas and wines.
These bioactive compounds are responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind), reducing blood pressure, preventing artery-clogging which is responsible for heart attacks, strokes, etc., it lowering the risk of heart disease and related problems.
A meta-analysis of studies showed that people who eat one to two servings of dark chocolate per week were at a lesser risk of heart disease and stroke than those who didn't eat any chocolate.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Another study showed that people with hypertension can substantially reduce their blood pressure by eating dark chocolate on a regular basis.
The flavanols in dark chocolate help it to improve blood circulation without changing the amount of arterial plaque or affecting insulin resistance. One serving bar of high-quality dark chocolate every day can lower blood pressure by 4 to 5 points.
The magnesium present in it helps to relax coronary arteries and subsequently improve blood flow and lower the risk of blood pressure.
Dark Chocolate lowers blood pressure by releasing nitric oxide, a gas that causes blood vessels to dilate and lower blood pressure. And reduces the risk factors for heart disease. dark chocolate can improve the blood circulation.
3. Prevents Cancer
Cocoa is rich in phytochemicals like polyphenols, catechins, and proanthocyanidins which are strong antioxidants.
Studies show that cocoa flavonoids inhibit the COX-2 enzymes which cause pain and inflammation. Hence it prevents certain cancers like colorectal cancer by inhibiting the growth of tumors via apoptosis(programmed death).
Studies also show that people regularly eating dark chocolate or drinking cocoa and dark chocolate reduce their overall risk of developing cancer.
According to research conducted at Harvard Medical School, regular consumption of dark chocolate reduces markers for cancer risk like insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), free IGF- binding proteins (IGFBPs), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). It also stimulates the activity of immune cells that protect against tumor formation.
4. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Cocoa and Dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which help control blood sugar levels.
A study published and medically reviewed by Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that dark chocolate (rich in cocoa) may help lower the risk factors for type 2 diabetes because it induces oxidation of blood sugar which reduces insulin resistance and delays the destruction of pancreatic cells leading to type 1 diabetes.
The percentage of people with type 2 diabetes has risen from 4.7 percent in 1990 to 8.3%in 2020, and is likely to rise further as obesity rates increase across the globe.
It has been observed that people who eat chocolate 2-3 times per week or more may reduce their risk by 10 percent. Dark chocolate also increases the level of adiponectin in the body, a hormone that regulates insulin levels and breaks down fats in the body. Adiponectin signals the liver to stop producing glucose in conditions of excess energy intake, hence preventing diabetes
5. Lowers Risk of Stroke
The flavanols in dark chocolate help relax blood vessels which prevents them from clogging with fat deposits leading to stroke. Research medically reviewed by Dr. David J Hartman indicates that if you consume 6g to 7g of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa daily it will reduce your chance of stroke by 10%. And reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30%.
BeeTee's Melt 55g bar of Dark Chocolate contains 72% of cacao beans with palm sugar.
The magnesium in the dark chocolate also helps to reduce the risk of stroke. It is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and improves their flexibility, preventing them from clogging with fat deposits.
A study which was medically reviewed by the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, researchers reported that people who ate one or two servings of high-flavanol cocoa and dark chocolate per day had a slower cognitive decline than those who ate little or no cocoa flavanol-rich foods.
Other studies have shown that dark chocolate may help prevent the development of age-related dementia in older adults by increasing cerebral blood flow to areas responsible for memory.
6. Keeps Skin Healthy
Cocoa contains a large number of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals which lead to aging and immune system suppression. A study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University found that cocoa has more antioxidant properties than green tea, red wine, and black tea.
The antioxidants of the dark chocolate or cocoa also help improve acne conditions by reducing inflammation and reducing the size of pimples. The antioxidants contained in chocolate are very effective against inflammatory skin disorders like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, etc and it lower the risk of aging of skin.
It is also found that eating dark chocolate may also promote collagen production which keeps the skin firm and younger-looking.
7. Boosts Mood and fights Depression
Mood changes are caused by the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine which are responsible for regulating moods. The monoamine contained in the dark chocolate increases the levels of the neurotransmitter which maintain a good mood.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that subjects who consume dark chocolate with 70 percent or higher cocoa content reported a better mood than who consume chocolates low in flavonoids. The researchers also found that chocolate was more effective at increasing the happy hormones (serotonin and endorphins) than other foods.
It has also been observed that people who eat chocolate frequently have a lower incidence of depressive symptoms. Thus, dark chocolate can improve mood and makes individual happy and may reduce the risk of depression.
Some of the other health benefits of eating dark chocolate every day are listed below,
Helps in Healthy Bones
The high levels of magnesium in the bean to bar chocolate help stimulate the activity of cells which are responsible for bone formation. Magnesium also regulates calcium absorption by bones, helping to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Antioxidants present in cacao prevent damage caused by free radicals, i.e., anti-aging properties. The antioxidants also help keep the skin healthy and prevent wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots, etc.
Accelerates Weight Loss
The fiber which is present in dark chocolate may helps to suppress appetite and prevent overeating. As a result, the sugar levels remain balanced, preventing energy slumps which are responsible for weight gain.
Cocoa is also a very good source of chromium which helps to reduce weight and lower cholesterol.
Improves Blood Circulation
Eating dark chocolate may increase the levels of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide increases the blood flow to the vital organs, including brain cells. Quality dark chocolate helps in ensuring better blood circulation.
Studies show that there is a strong correlation between chocolate consumption and lower body mass index (BMI). This may be because cocoa contains a large number of polyphenols which reduce the absorption of fat. Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and dietary fiber which helps in maintaining a healthy BMI.
Improve Brain Function
Dark chocolate is also rich in essential nutrients which are required for brain function, including iron, zinc, copper, manganese, etc. These minerals promote energy production and thereby improve brain function.
Good for Eyes
Dark Chocolate has essential nutrients which are required for the proper function of the eyes, including copper and vitamin E. Vitamin A is also found in dark chocolate may also help to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Dark Chocolate Curbs Hunger Pangs
Research conducted on a small group of healthy women showed that dark chocolate consumption before a meal decreased their subsequent intake of calories at the meal by 20%. The reason for this may be that it contains chemicals known as anandamides which can give rise to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, curbing hunger cravings and saving you from unnecessary calorie intake between meals.
So, as you can see chocolate is extremely healthy food. Instead of regular milk chocolates go for dark chocolate as it contains very less or no sugar and is thus good for health. And it has number of proven health benefits.
The category of dark chocolate includes cocoa powder as well as pure drinking chocolate. Dark chocolates with high cocoa content are considered to contain the highest number of antioxidants and flavonoids which help fight diseases and can improve brain function.
Now we know the health benefits of dark chocolates, it is always good to look for quality ones. Always look for what is in it and whats is not in it the dark chocolate and choose the good quality and healthy chocolates like BeeTee's Melt Chocolates, which are free from Preservatives, Soy, Gluten, Hydrogenated oils, and other artificial fillers.
So, next time refuse those unhealthy sweets offered by your friends because even if they may taste good, they're bad for your health. Instead, opt for some dark chocolate and be healthy as well as happy!
Disclaimer- Kindly note that not all the Dark chocolates in the market are healthy and nutritious. The blog is for informational purpose and should not be considered as medical advice.