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Dark Chocolate for Heart Health

Posted by BeeTee's Melt on

Chocolate is a very popular treat all over the world and has been for centuries. It's no wonder that people are always looking for ways to enjoy it more often. The good news is, that there are many different types of chocolate out there, each with its own health benefits. One such type of chocolate is dark chocolate.

Dark chocolates typically have less sugar than milk or white chocolates which can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

A 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating just 1 serving (28 grams) per day reduced heart attacks by 37%!

So go ahead and indulge without worry because you're doing your heart some good!

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate is a type of chocolate with a higher concentration of cocoa content and less milk than other types.

Major ingredients in dark chocolate are cocoa beans and sugar. Cocoa beans will be added in the form of cocoa nibs and cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is a natural fat that is extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate smooth and give it a glossy appearance.

Sugar is added to sweeten the dark chocolate. The flavonoids present in cocoa are beneficial to human health.

The nutritional value of dark chocolate depends on the percentage of cacao it contains. A higher percentage of cacao means more flavonoids and less sugar. Dark chocolate with 70-85% cacao is considered best for health.

Health benefits of Dark Chocolate

The health benefits of dark chocolate include:

Improving brain function

Dark Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which are known to boost cognitive function and protect the brain from age-related decline.

A study showed that eating dark chocolate improved blood flow to the brain, which could enhance cognitive function.

Improving cholesterol levels

Dark chocolate can help improve cholesterol levels by reducing the bad (LDL) cholesterol and increasing the good (HDL) cholesterol.

Controlling blood sugar

Dark chocolate may also help control blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing sugar cravings.

A small study showed that people who ate dark chocolate had lower blood sugar levels than those who ate milk chocolate.

Lowering blood pressure

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can also help to lower blood pressure.

A study showed that people who ate dark chocolate had a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Protecting the skin from sun damage

Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Easing stress and anxiety

Dark chocolate can also help to ease stress and anxiety. The flavonoids present in dark chocolate can help to increase feelings of calm and relaxation.

Dark Chocolate and Heart Health

Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. These nutrients offer numerous health benefits, including improving heart health.

Reduce the risk of heart disease

Studies have shown that dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. These effects can help to lower the risk of heart disease.

Protect against stroke

The flavonoids in dark chocolate can also help to protect against stroke. A study of over 20,000 people found that those who ate the most chocolate had a 22% lower risk of stroke than those who ate the least.

Preventing blood clots

Blood clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes, so it's important to prevent them from forming. The flavanols in dark chocolate can help to prevent blood clots by reducing the stickiness of platelets.

Improving the function of the endothelium

The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels. It's important for maintaining healthy blood flow and preventing heart disease. Dark chocolate can improve the function of the endothelium by increasing nitric oxide levels.

Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help to reduce inflammation, which can protect against heart disease.

How to include dark chocolate in your diet?

You can include dark chocolate in your diet by eating it as a snack or adding it to recipes.

Some ideas for incorporating dark chocolate into your diet include:

Adding dark chocolate chips to oatmeal or yogurt- Dark chocolate chips can add sweetness and flavor to oatmeal or yogurt.

Making a healthy chocolate smoothie- Add dark chocolate, milk, bananas, and almond butter to a blender and blend until smooth.

Adding dark chocolate to trail mix- Mix dark chocolate chips with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a healthy snack.

Baking with dark chocolate- Use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and white chocolate in recipes for cookies, brownies, or cakes.

Eating a small piece of dark chocolate every day-

A small piece of dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing some health benefits.

How to choose Dark Chocolate

When choosing dark chocolate, it's important to look for a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more flavonoids and antioxidants the chocolate will contain.

It's also important to choose dark chocolate that is free of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Look for a bar that contains only cocoa solids in place of cocoa butter, which will affect the quality of the chocolate and its health benefits.

Avoid brands that have a lot of sugar or other ingredients that are not good for you. Avoid chocolates that contain Soy and gluten. There are many soy-free and gluten-free chocolates available on the market.

Lastly, be sure to check the label to make sure the dark chocolate does not contain more than 4-5 ingredients. More the ingredients more the chemicals and other artificial ingredients.

Bottom line

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. It can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, protect against stroke, and prevent blood clots. It's also rich in antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The nutritional value of dark chocolate makes it a heart-healthy food.

Eat chocolate in moderation to get the maximum benefit.

There are many health benefits associated with dark chocolate, especially when it comes to heart health. Dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, protect against stroke, and prevent blood clots.

It's also rich in antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. To get the most cardiovascular benefits from dark chocolate, choose a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa.

Note- This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is intended to help you make informed decisions about your health. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.

Vegan Dark Chocolate

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