Need a reason to eat chocolate? We can give your nine! Chocolates are a treat, but most experts suggest not too many to avoid dental carries or weight gain. But, we rarely get to know the positive side of these treats. So, let’s look at the nine health benefits of dark chocolate in this blog.
Dark Chocolate Composition
To be classified as “dark chocolate,” chocolate must have the following:
- At least 50% cocoa solids
- Cocoa butter
Dark chocolate does not contain milk like milk chocolate. The health benefits of dark chocolate are mainly because of the presence of cocoa solids. Hence, the darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids it contains and thus the greater the potential health benefits.
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Dark chocolate Nutrition
The nutrition facts given below are for a 100 gm bar of dark chocolate that consists of approximately 70–85% cocoa:
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Iron: 67%
- Magnesium: 58%
- Copper: 89%
- Manganese: 98%
The percentages given above are according to the daily value of the nutrients. Other than these, dark chocolate has high amounts of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium too.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Given below are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate:
1. Heart Healthy
Eating dark chocolate on a daily basis is good for heart health. It reduces the chance of having heart problems and increases the life span. Flavanols are compounds found in dark chocolate that help in lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In most cases, these two factors are the cause of heart disease, and eating dark chocolate can help.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
As explained above, the flavanols in dark chocolate help in lowering blood pressure. They boost the production of nitric oxide in the lining of the arteries, and as a result, it lowers blood pressure by signaling the arteries to relax. In this way, dark chocolate improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Learn more about High Blood Pressure and How to Control it at Home.
3. Good Vision
A study on dark chocolate and vision improvement has found that as compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate can slightly improve your vision. It has also been related to better contrast sensitivity. In a study, people who ate dark chocolate showed better vision than those who ate milk chocolate two hours after eating it.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
Dark chocolate contains high antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins. What are the benefits of antioxidants? Well, if your diet is high in antioxidants, you have a lower chance of developing diseases and getting heart attacks. These compounds lower the oxidative stress from your body and prevent any damage.
5. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Dark chocolate is also suggested as a low-cholesterol snack. So the next time you want to snack on something, grab a handful of almonds and dark chocolate. Research has found that it can reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL), generally known as “bad” cholesterol, which may block arteries if present in excessive amounts.
6. Protects from Sun Damage
Who would have thought chocolate could protect us from sun damage. But it is true! Antioxidants in dark chocolate can protect the skin from UV damage. Moreover, they boost the blood flow to the skin and improve skin density and hydration. Therefore, dark chocolate is a food that improves your skin.
7. Increases Brain Function
Dark chocolate can enhance brain blood flow, oxygen levels, or nerve function. Studies conducted to see the effects of long-term consumption of dark chocolate high in flavanols found that it improves the activity of your brain. People aged 50 to 69 who took a cocoa supplement with a high flavanol content for three months performed better on memory tests.
8. Improves Diabetes
Chocolate for diabetic patients doesn’t sound good, right? But, what if we told you that dark chocolate could be beneficial for people with diabetes. Yes, dark chocolate polyphenols may enhance insulin sensitivity or how effectively insulin acts in the body, and this may help regulate blood sugar. According to research, those who ate dark chocolate at least once a week had a lower prevalence of diabetes and were at a lower risk of developing diabetes four to five years later. Read more about Managing Diabetes at Home Easily.
9. Helps in Weight Loss
Dark chocolate may help you in losing weight through a variety of methods. It increases your insulin sensitivity, decreases hunger and appetite, and improves your mood as an added benefit,. However, it’s crucial to check the calorie content of the dark chocolate you are eating and take small portion sizes. A small piece of dark chocolate low in added sugar and containing at least 70% cocoa can be eaten as a snack for weight loss.
Get Best Advice From A Dietitian
There are numerous health benefits of dark chocolate. It is low in sugar, has a high content of antioxidants, and makes a great nutritious snack even for those losing weight. However, you must only consume a small portion of dark chocolate daily as it is still high in calories. To get the best advice about losing weight and managing hunger levels, you must contact a Dietitian.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the Best Dietitians in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. What are the health benefits of dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate may improve vision, lower cholesterol levels, prevent diseases, and improve your skin.
2. What is the best time to eat dark chocolate??
The best time to eat dark chocolate is between meals in the morning or evening as a snack with nuts like almonds or walnuts.
3. What is bad about dark chocolate?
Eating large portions of dark chocolate can lead to diarrhea, increased heart rate, unwanted weight gain, and dehydration.