Dark chocolate with 70% and above cocoa helps protect the heart, is rich in antioxidants and stimulates blood flow to the brain, which helps improve cognitive function.
It is filled with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Dark Chocolate is made from the seed of the cacao tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
Studies show that bitter chocolate (not sugary garbage) can improve health and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Most of us do not need a reason to eat dark chocolate, as it is very delicious and can help us lift our spirits when we are not feeling well.
However, there are those who believe that chocolate consumption can be bad because it can fatten or increase cholesterol due to its fat and sugar content.
The truth is that unlike what many believe, the consumption of dark chocolate has many health benefits, as long as we eat it frequently but in small portions.
DARK CHOCOLATE IS A SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Dark chocolate is a super-rich source of powerful antioxidants, such as flavonoids, polyphenols, catechins, among others. Antioxidants are very important because they help to rid the body of free radicals, which are the cause of oxidative damage to cells.
Thanks to this, chocolate is ideal to prevent cardiovascular diseases, reduce cholesterol levels and lower high blood pressure. In addition, it is also perfect for inhibiting premature aging.
DARK CHOCOLATE IS A PROTECTOR OF THE HEART
Chocolate has been rejected for many years by many people because it has saturated fats of cocoa butter.
However, a research found that these fats could actually be beneficial, as well as other types of saturated fats such as coconut oil.
It is explained that a third of the fat of the cocoa butter has stearic acid, which the liver converts into oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat.
Oleic acid is a compound that helps lessen the levels of bad LDL cholesterol, however increasing the levels of good HDL cholesterol.
In addition, chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight chronic vascular inflammation, improve the flexibility of blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. All these benefits help prevent diseases and heart problems.
DARK CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR THE BRAIN
The consumption of dark chocolate stimulates blood flow to the brain and heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Regular consumption can also help prevent strokes.
This is due to its theobromine content, which is a natural stimulant not as strong as caffeine, but with vital therapeutic effects.
It also contains a small dose of caffeine, which is another good stimulant present in many foods. In the case of chocolate, we found 27 mg of caffeine in one ounce, while in a cup of coffee we found 200 mg.
And lastly, we find phenylethylamine, which releases endorphins in the brain, which generates a sense of well-being.
DARK CHOCOLATE PROVIDES HEALTHIER SKIN
Being rich in antioxidants, chocolate also helps to have a softer, less dry skin and more resistant to UV rays.
Cocoa promotes good blood circulation in the fine capillaries in the upper layer of the skin, which are responsible for oxygenate and deliver the essential nutrients that the skin needs to protect itself from dehydration and burns.
BLACK CHOCOLATE CAN IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION
The good news is not over yet. Dark chocolate can also improve brain function. A study of healthy volunteers showed that 5 days of cocoa consumption with high flavanol content improved blood flow to the brain.
Cocoa can also significantly improve cognitive function in older people with mental disabilities. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for the disease.
Cocoa also contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why cocoa can improve brain function in the short term.
DARK CHOCOLATE HELP TO COMBAT FATTY LIVER
Rats with fatty liver show higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, but supplementation with cocoa partially attenuated these pathological changes – even in rats with choline deficiency.
While cocoa was not enough to completely resolve fatty liver, the researchers concluded that cocoa may be of therapeutic benefit in “less severe” forms of fatty liver.
DARK CHOCOLATE HELP RELIEVE STRESS
Magnesium is very good to help in relaxation. This crucial mineral reduces stress by subduing the release of stress hormone or cortisol.
Magnesium is mostly absent from our diets, but chocolate has a substantial amount of it.
Apparently, we crave chocolate for its magnesium content.
Getting more magnesium from chocolate can improve memory, concentration, mood, sleep, and resistance to stress.
The theobromine, a compound that is found mainly in chocolate, is related to caffeine, but paradoxically is a relaxing and not a stimulant.
There is considerable evidence that dark chocolate can provide health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular diseases.
But, of course, this does not mean that you must consume large amounts of chocolate every day as it provides many calories and is easy to overeat. The indicated portion is maybe a square or two after dinner.
Keep in mind that a large part of the chocolate in the market is of very low quality. You must choose a quality chocolate, organic or dark with 70% or more of cocoa content.
Dark chocolates often contain a little sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the percentage decreases as its purity increases.
It is important to read the nutrition label and avoid those that contain hydrogenated fats. This is nothing more than processed fat mixed with coloring, sugar, and flavoring.
The real chocolate contains cocoa butter. The first ingredient must appear in the list of ingredients. This means that it is the ingredient that is found in greater quantity.