Dark, White or Milk, chocolate is something they can’t live without. This delicious candy is enjoyed by kids and adults alike but did you know there are some amazing benefits of eating chocolates?
It wouldn’t be surprising if you said no. Sadly, our media only highlights the harmful side of this yummy treat.
The reality is a bit different. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate has numerous benefits.
Why Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?
The benefits of any chocolate come down to the content of cocoa in it.
Cocoa is the core ingredient for chocolate.
The cocoa beans itself aren’t harmful, it is the added sugar and fats in the chocolate that gives it a bad reputation.
The calories added from sugar and fats are the main reason for the harmful effects on the body.
The darker your chocolate the more cocoa content it will have.
Milk and white chocolate contain too many calories and little amount or no amount of cocoa.
So now is time to ditch the milk chocolate and that imposter called white chocolate from your life and switch to dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Benefits
Chocolates are rich in Antioxidants
Free oxygen radicals are bad news for your body. Too many free radicals can cause oxidative stress to your body. It can damage DNA, proteins, and other cells.
They are also linked with cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and tumors.
Antioxidants have the ability to bind these harmful free radicals.
The more antioxidant activity a food has, the more beneficial it is. The good news is that cocoa is rich with compounds that have high antioxidant activity.
Flavanols, catechins, and polyphenols are some compounds that are found in cocoa and have antioxidant properties.
Some studies even suggest that the antioxidant activity of cocoa might be greater than green tea and some berries.
It could be good for skin
One of the rumors about chocolate says that it can cause acne.
This is false news because chocolate is packed with nutrients that can give you healthy skin.
The actual culprits for acne are sugar and fats. Another reason why you should switch to dark chocolate.
The flavonoids in chocolate can possibly protect against harmful UV rays of the sun.
A study was conducted in which subjects were given chocolate drinks with low (normal chocolate) and a high amount of flavonoids (dark chocolate).
The result shows that those who consumed chocolate with more flavonoid chocolate had less redness when exposed to the sun.
Chocolate also contains calcium that that repair and renews the skin and manganese which help in the production of collagen, a protein that will make skin look young and healthy.
It also improves skin elasticity.
Dark Chocolate could be good for Heart
There are numerous studies that indicate that chocolate might lower the risk of heart disease.
In fact, many of these observational studies showed that people who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis lower the chances of about 57%.
The flavanols in chocolate can play a vital role in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and improve heart health.
Researchers say that flavanols help produce nitric oxide, which lowers the blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels.
But remember that these studies are observational so the result might differ from reality. People may be eating different amounts of chocolate than they told.
So don’t think about replacing your heart medicines with chunks of chocolate!
Could be good for Brain Health
The neurodegenerative disease, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, may prevent by eating dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate can improve brain health.
One study suggests that flavanols may improve the brain’s neuroplasticity, which plays a role in memory especially in case of injury and disease.
Chocolate also has caffeine which might be the reason it helps in the improvement of brain function.
Lastly, the good news is that chocolate is highly nutritious.
It is rich in some essential minerals and nutrients.
A 101 gram of chocolate bar with 70-85% cocoa content will contain,
- 12 mg of iron (67 % of DV)
- 11 grams of fiber (44% of DV)
- 230 mg of magnesium (58% of DV)
- 9 grams of protein (16% of DV)
- 8 mg of copper (89% of DV)
- 2 mg of manganese (98% of DV)
There are some other compounds that are rich in chocolate like phosphorus and selenium.
It also contains stimulants caffeine and theobromine but doesn’t have the same effect as coffee.
The amount of saturated fats is also too high in 100 grams of bar, but 100 grams is too much for daily consumption as it provides about 600 calories.
Too much of it may be sugar and fats since the processing methods for every brand are different.
So it is wise if you don’t over consume the chocolate even if it is dark.
Dark chocolate will contain less sugar and more cocoa as compared to white and milk chocolate.
The more amount of cocoa may contribute to better health by preventing heart problems, diabetes, and brain disease.
Even though dark chocolate is good, too much consumption of anything daily is bad.
The amount of sugar may also be more in some chocolate depending upon brands.
Keep enjoying your chocolate, just make it dark and keep the quantity moderate.