Dark chocolate health benefits
People of all ages like to buy chocolate. From chocolate bars to chocolate cakes, chocolate milkshakes, chocolate brownies, chocolate pastries, etc.
The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa. It is made by adding milk, sugar, and chocolate to remove this bitter taste. We usually see two types of chocolate in the market, one is dark chocolate and the other is milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains 70% or more cocoa and less sugar. Today we will discuss the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Yes, this is an important question. First of all, let’s talk about cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans which contain important minerals like protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Also, cocoa powder is rich in powerful antioxidants.
Again, dark chocolate and milk chocolate contain the same healthy ingredients like cocoa powder. However, milk chocolate contains 10% cocoa powder and dark chocolate contains 90% cocoa powder. The more cocoa you get, the more health benefits you will get.
Since dark chocolate contains more cocoa, it also contains more fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. So dark chocolate is good for our health.
Nutrients in dark chocolate
Made from the seeds of the cocoa tree so dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants. Also contains –
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Iron: 7%
- Magnesium: 56%
- Copper: 69%
- Manganese: 98%
It also contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. The fatty acid profile of dark chocolate is also great. It contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, but much less caffeine than coffee.
The health benefits of dark chocolate
The health benefits of dark chocolate come mainly from the flavonols present in it. Below are the health benefits of dark chocolate –
Reduces the risk of cancer:
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins. An antioxidant prevents free radicals and oxidative stress.
Lowers blood pressure:
The flavonols of dark chocolate produce nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide widens blood vessels, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
Lowers bad cholesterol:
Eating dark chocolate can reduce several risks of heart disease. One of them is that LDL significantly reduces bad cholesterol and HDL significantly increases good cholesterol.
May reduce the risk of heart disease:
Those who regularly eat dark chocolate have a much better heart than others. Dark chocolate lowers high blood pressure and normalizes blood circulation, which helps keep the heart-healthy.
In a study of 470 men, cocoa powder reduced the risk of heart disease by 50% over a 15-year period. Another study found that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times a week reduced the risk of heart disease by 57%.
Good for skin:
The main ingredient in making chocolate is cocoa. Cocoa is a bioactive compound rich in flavonols which is great for the skin. Flavonols can protect the skin from sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and hydrate the skin.
Improve brain function:
Dark chocolate can improve brain function. One study found that eating dark chocolate with high flavonols for five days improved blood flow to the brain. Cocoa powder in dark chocolate can significantly improve cognition in older people.