Are you a self-confessed chocolate lover? Well, you’re right on track. Chocolates, specifically dark ones, offer a remarkable stretch of upsides. From mood booster to cognitive improvement, here are the 7 incredible health benefits of dark chocolate that will surely amaze you. So, let’s get started and dive into the fascinating world of these sweet and tasty treats!
1. It raises your mood.
Dark chocolates have a unique component that is linked to the production of endorphins. It has tryptophan, the amino acid that serves as a precursor for serotonin. And of course, an increase in serotonin triggers neutral activity that improves your mood and overall well-being. This is one of the main reasons why the moment you eat chocolate you instantly feel happier and calmer. It’s because of the serotonin boost that accompanies these appetizing goodies. So, if you’re feeling blue or you simply want to de-stress, a bite of your favorite dark chocolate can help you out!
2. It comes with powerful antioxidants.
Did you know that, according to some studies, dark chocolates contain more antioxidants than acai berries and blueberries? And if you’re unsure of the importance of antioxidants, firstly, these are the substances that help protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals, on the other hand, are tagged as unstable atoms that play a crucial role in damaging cells that cause a host of illnesses.
Along with the protection from free radicals, dark chocolates also avert oxidative stress. This is the kind of damage that is associated with the excessive amounts of free radicals that inflict on bodily cells and tissues. This largely contributes to the natural process of aging and may even promote the development of life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart illness, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Therefore, eating dark chocolates can actually aid in keeping your body healthy. The organic compounds of dark chocolates, including catechins, flavanols, and polyphenols, are loaded with antioxidants. So, you can definitely add this delectable treat to your regimen.
3. It is very nutritious.
Aside from the mood-boosting amino acid, dark chocolates contain a high level of cocoa content. Cocoa, in general, is nutritious as it contains a great range of minerals and nutrients, including soluble fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and the like. The fatty acid component of cocoa is a combination of saturated and monounsaturated, hence better benefits to your body. However, along with these healthy features, dark chocolates also come with calories and sugar. That’s why it’s still advisable that you eat these in moderation.
4. It supports blood flow.
The body’s circulatory system has a very critical responsibility; it is assigned to deliver nutrients and oxygen to other parts of the body as well as get rid of toxic wastes. Therefore, you have to keep it in tip-top condition at all times. One of the surprising benefits of dark chocolates is that they can help in lowering your blood pressure and improving your blood flow.
Dark chocolates come with flavanols that stimulate the endothelium, or the core lining of the arteries. This activity results in the production of nitric oxide, which is considered the most substantial molecules needed by the blood vessels. This particular molecule is a vasodilator that allows your inner muscles to relax, widening your vessels so blood can flow easily. And with the continuous and increase of blood flow, this helps in reducing the pressure of your blood.
All this information is accompanied by controlled studies, making it more relevant. And of course, eating dark chocolates is way better than consuming unhealthy snacks with lots of preservatives, right? So, weigh your options according and pick a food that is not just delicious but is also nutritious! But as mentioned earlier, this should be eaten in moderation. Well, too much of everything is definitely not good.
5. It improves heart health.
As always, prevention is way more important than cure. So, as early as now, you have to keep an eye on your food choices. And surprisingly, dark chocolates aren’t just all tasty and sweet. These are also helpful in protecting you from heart-related illnesses. It’s because the antioxidants from dark chocolates not just help in increasing your blood flow and lowering your blood pressure but also assist in reducing LDL, or low-density lipoproteins. LDL is known as the bad cholesterol that restricts the walls of the blood vessels that depresses the blood flow, raising the chances of stroke and heart attack. Furthermore, with oxidized LDL, this means that the bad cholesterol has reacted with the dangerous free radicals.
According to a specific research, the cocoa powder from dark chocolates significantly cut the oxidized LDL. In addition, it increased the HDL, or the counterpart of LDL, which is the good cholesterol that transmits cholesterols from other body parts back to your liver. From there, the liver eliminates these from your body. Likewise, dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance. This is a very common factor for heart diseases and even diabetes. As it lowers the LDL, it increases HDL so you improve your insulin sensitivity.
6. It protects your skin.
The bioactive compounds found in dark chocolates are beneficial in protecting you against sun damage. There’s a particular study that highlights the effect of dark chocolates on the skin. It focuses on the MED, or minimal erythemal dose, which records the minimum amount of ultraviolet rays to cause skin redness after 24-hour sun exposure. The results were quite surprising as 30 people from such study doubled their MED after consumption of dark chocolates with high flavanols. It’s because flavanol is not just meant to improve your blood flow but also supports in protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays.
Moreover, flavanols can increase your skin hydration and density. Henceforth, if you’re eyeing a beach trip, you can load up your ingestion of dark chocolates to keep your skin hydrated and protected! Clearly, you won’t get wrong with a bar of dark chocolate!
7. It sharpens your brain function.
Among other important health benefits of dark chocolate, this is probably the most interesting. The flavanols from cocoa are beneficial for your brain health. Yep, you read it right! This was supported by recent studies that showed how people who eat chocolates with high-level flavanols improved their brain blood flow.
Aside from that, the stimulant substances from cocoa aid in improving short-term brain function. It further improves visual-spatial alertness, working memory, and abstract reasoning. Another research emphasizes the bearing of flavanols in relation to their mental math adeptness. The study highlighted that people who drank a cup of cocoa before a specific number-counting test have better results.
Such benefit to human cognition is very fascinating as it seals the deal of the positive impact of dark chocolates on the body. And though this does not mean that eating chocolates can actually make you smart, it can be associated that, perhaps, smart people often eat chocolate.
Capping off the health benefits of dark chocolate
Now that you have an idea of the impressive benefits of dark chocolate, we bet you’ll be chomping a slice of this sweet delight later. Truly, dark chocolates make the world a better place. It’s delicious and healthy―without the guilt of adding a few pounds! So, stack up some dark chocolates in your fridge and enjoy its perks!