What exactly is the benefit of dark chocolate that many people don’t know about? While most people know about the health benefits of dark chocolate, many don’t know that it has numerous health benefits that can improve your life in other ways as well. Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It is made from the seed of the cacao tree, which is one of the best sources of antioxidants available. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 benefits of dark chocolate that you probably didn’t know about.
One reason dark chocolate has garnered so much attention is that it is one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants, which are micronutrients thought to be beneficial in preventing aging and chronic diseases such as cancer. What makes these compounds so powerful? They help prevent oxidative damage, which occurs when free radicals attack cells in your body and cause disease. Antioxidants act as an antidote for those free radicals by removing them before they can harm cells. Some research suggests that antioxidants found in dark chocolate may also help keep blood vessels clear, which could lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. To obtain these benefits, it is necessary to stick to a 1-ounce daily serving since eating more can lead to weight gain and other health risks.
While antioxidant-rich foods are considered healthy, dark chocolate has its own risks. The darker a chocolate is, for example, the more cacao it contains—and cacao does have fat and calories. If you go overboard with your sweet tooth and consume too much dark chocolate in one sitting, you’ll end up with empty calories that could put you at risk for weight gain. In fact, some studies suggest that eating too much high-cacao dark chocolate may cause high blood pressure and arrhythmias, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.
2) Mood stabilizer
There’s some evidence that dark chocolate can improve your mood by increasing levels of certain brain chemicals, like serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is known to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and energy; it’s also linked to feelings of excitement and attraction. People who eat a lot of dark chocolate may also experience less stress. To lose weight safely but quickly, switch to a sugar-free diet. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help prevent damage to your cells—and therefore help you avoid aging faster than normal. Those who indulge in eating lots of dark chocolate may also experience a lower level of stress. It doesn’t contain sugar or fat, making it perfect for an occasional indulgence without any guilt!
In certain cases, eating dark chocolate can improve your mood if you’re feeling sad or depressed. The darker the chocolate, the better your mood may become. And while we’re on the subject, it may even help you lose weight. Based on findings from a study from Penn State University, the antioxidants in dark chocolate can help to fight cellular damage and prevent aging. These antioxidants are known as flavonoids, and some studies suggest that eating a moderate amount of them (about 1 ounce per day) may help slow down brain aging by as much as two years. Antioxidants like those found in dark chocolate have also been shown to increase blood flow to certain parts of your brain. For example, Tufts University found increased flow to regions associated with memory function and pleasure.
One way dark chocolate lowers blood pressure is by reducing inflammation, a big risk factor for heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that flavonoids help reduce inflammation throughout your body. One study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that dark chocolate has more flavonoids than most other foods tested, making it a potent anti-inflammatory. Consuming flavonoids improves your cardiovascular health and reduces risk factors for heart disease. For maximum benefit, choose at least 70 percent cocoa and eat it as part of a balanced diet to lose weight quickly without sugar or additives—not with sugary yogurt or milk, for example. The protein in dairy products slows down digestion and may counteract some of the benefits. Instead, pair dark chocolate with fruit, nuts or cheese to balance out its bitterness.
1/3 less calories: Another reason why dark chocolate is good for you? It contains 1/3 fewer calories than milk chocolate. We can’t recommend consuming a lot of processed food because they have empty calories that pile up quickly, but sometimes it’s okay to have a small piece of high-quality dark chocolate when you’re eating mostly healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. This helps satisfy cravings while giving you energy from natural sugars instead of refined carbs or added fats—perfect if you’re trying to lose weight quickly!
4) Less sugar
As you might have guessed, dark chocolate contains less sugar than its milky counterpart. A typical bar of dark chocolate has around 3 grams of sugar, compared to 16 grams in milk chocolate. If you’re watching your weight, dark chocolate is a great choice because it allows you to indulge in a decadent treat while keeping calories under control. Bonus: Researchers have found that eating dark chocolate can reduce appetite and cravings for sugary foods. In other words, indulge in some dark—you may not even need an afternoon snack!
Another benefit of eating dark chocolate is its antioxidant content. Antioxidants help rid your body of free radicals, which can cause cell damage when left unchecked. While all food contains antioxidants, they are present in much higher concentrations in dark chocolate than they are in milk or white chocolates. The flavanols and polyphenols found naturally in cocoa beans provide significant antioxidant activity – but there’s no cocoa bean without another key ingredient…
5) Better heart health
Studies have shown that dark chocolate may actually be beneficial to your heart health due to the presence of a specific chemical known as epicatechin. The epicatechin found in dark chocolate improves the function of your vascular system and also boosts nitric oxide levels, which helps lower blood pressure. Replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate, especially that made with more cocoa, is a great source of antioxidants like catechins and flavanols. Consuming it on a regular basis may help to protect your heart. This new study has found that people who eat five or more servings of flavonoid-rich foods each week are 41% less likely to die from coronary artery disease than those who don’t.