Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.Jo Brand
Who doesn’t love chocolates? The moment someone talks about it, our mouth starts to water! Since forever, it has been forced into our minds that chocolate is unhealthy and shouldn’t be eaten regularly. But eating the right ones, i.e., those that have large percentage of cacao in them, have a myriad of benefits. Commonly known as dark chocolates, these are loaded with nutrients.
Dark chocolates are bitter sweet and low in sugar. Darker the chocolate, higher are the nutrients in it. A bar, 70% or higher in cacao, is generally considered a healthy chocolate.
Thus, gone are the days when you felt guilty about having a chocolate or waited till your weekly cheat day to enjoy it. With so many benefits of dark chocolate, you now have excuses to eat it almost everyday (in moderation though!).
So here are the 20 health perks of dark chocolate:
1. A Powerhouse Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, molecules that can cause cell damage. Dark chocolate is said to have way more antioxidants than any other foods. It has various components that carry antioxidant characteristics like polyphenols, catechins, flavanols, etc.
2. Helps Improve Your Mood
Ever observed how savouring a chocolate makes you happy and content? Eating dark chocolate is known to increase serotonin, which is an antidepressant and helps in enhancing ones mood. It helps in the production of endorphins or the feel good chemicals in the brain, that creates a feeling of euphoria and pleasure. It also has flavanols, which carry calming effects.
3. Lowers blood Pressure
A lot of studies have published that eating just a single square of dark chocolate a day helps to lower the blood pressure. This is because dark chocolate contains magnesium and aids in the production of nitric oxide in the body.
4. Increases Your Energy
Dark chocolate can prove to be an instant source of energy as it contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which boost stamina. Also, your body can quickly absorb the simple sugars in chocolate, which prompts a spike in the energy levels.
5. Provides Protection Against The Sun
The polyphenols, catechins and flavanoids present in dark chocolate protect our skin from UV rays and sunburn. This means dark chocolate has natural SPF qualities and consuming it regularly can shield us from a lot of skin damage.
6. Good For The Eyes
Cocoa in dark chocolate makes it rich in flavanols, which increases blood flow to the retina. Good flow of blood to the eyes clearly means that they can work ideally. However, this not at all means that dark chocolates are an alternative to a regular balanced diet.
7. Can Assist in Weight Loss
Dark chocolate is very rich in monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA). These fatty acids increase metabolism which aid in faster burning of calories. Further, dark chocolate gives a feeling of fullness and decrease cravings.
8. Helps Improve Blood Flow
Many researchers believe that polyphenols that are present in dark chocolate significantly increase blood flow to legs because they help in widening the arteries. They increase nitric oxide levels that improve blood flow.
9. Combats Inflammation
Antioxidants in dark chocolate can fight off any kind of inflammation in the body as it nourishes and protects the endothelial cells within the arteries.
10. Healthy For Your Hair
Dark chocolate increases blood circulation to the head and scalp, which can make your hair shiny and thick. Furthermore, it’s anti inflammatory properties can fight off dandruff and infections.
11. Good For Your Heart
A number of studies have shown that regularly indulging in quality dark chocolate can lessen the possibility of many heart diseases. The flavanoids present in it relax the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure.
12. Can Prevent And Treat Diabetes
Dark chocolate can actually improve the metabolism of glucose. The phenols and flavanoids in it support insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. And since dark chocolates are low in sugar , they can relieve sweet cravings of the diabetics!
13. Helps Control Cholesterol
Cocoa can greatly reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good ones (HDL). It can also improve insulin sensitivity.
14. Lowers The Risk Of Some Cancers
Dark chocolate is jam packed with nutrients and antioxidants , that can prevent DNA mutation and damage, has anti inflammatory properties and can inhibit the growth of tumors.
15. Boosts Male Fertility
Studies show that dark chocolate contains an amino acid called L-Arginine, that improves sperm health and count. Also, the antioxidants present in it can greatly lower the chances of infertility.
16. Helps With Period Cramps
The cocoa in dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which are known to be natural pain relievers. These relax the muscles of your uterus, thereby reducing pain.
17. Benefits Bone Health
Dark chocolate is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. These nutrients make the bone healthy and strong.
18. Can Improve Ear Health
Believe it or not, but dark chocolate can nourish your ears! It has zinc and other antioxidants that can aid in preventing hearing loss and fighting infections.
19. Nourishes The Thyroid
All the nutrients that cacao contains can prove to be very effective for thyroid health. Antioxidants present in it can inhibit and treat cellular damage caused by the accumulation of stress and toxins.
20. Fights Aging
Eating a little bit of dark chocolate regularly can inhibit several age related issues. It reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, that cause cell damage. It prevents wrinkles and dryness as it increases elasticity of the skin and also hydrates it.
So now it is evident that dark chocolate has many benefits and is good for your total well being. Eating it regularly in moderation can boost your health in numerous ways.
And since you are now convinced of all the awesome qualities that it has, when are you getting yourself a bar?