Once you learn about the incredible health benefits of dark chocolate, you’ll probably want to dive into a vat of it. But that’s not necessary. Simply eating it will do the trick! And the benefits are numerous. Here are the seven most commonly accepted benefits – aside from the obvious one: Dark chocolate tastes great!
1. Nutritious as Well as Delicious
Quality dark chocolate, with 70-85% cocoa content, contains copious amounts of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium – along with a respectable amount of fiber to boot.
2. Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Blood Pressure
Some studies have demonstrated that the flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of the arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide. This gas can cause the arteries to relax and lower blood pressure.
3. Raises “Good” Cholesterol and Lowers “Bad” Cholesterol
Dark chocolate raises your HDL (high density of lipoproteins) and lowers your LDL (low density of lipoproteins). It also protects your LDL against oxidation. This oxidation is particularly nasty in that it causes your LDL to damage tissues such as the precious linings of your heart arteries. Another bonus: Dark chocolate also lowers insulin resistance.
4. Great Source of Antioxidants
Studies show that dark chocolate contained more antioxidants than most other foods that were tested, including blueberries and Acai berries. What do antioxidants do? They help prevent cancer.
5. Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Here’s a statistic that should make your heart go pitter-patter: Eating dark chocolate has the potential to lower your risk of heart disease by a whopping 50%!
6. Good for the Brain
It’s well established that dark chocolate is good for your heart, but now it’s becoming widely accepted that it’s good for your head, too. How? By improving blood flow to the brain. It’s also been demonstrated to improve cognitive function in the elderly.
7. Helps Prevent Skin Damage
Yes, dark chocolate also helps protect your skin. The flavanols in dark chocolate help improve blood flow and protect skin against sun-induced damage.
So, what’s the bottom line? Dark chocolate is simply terrific. Plus, it tastes terrific, too. The only caution is to eat it in moderation (perhaps a square or two after dinner). That will give you all the benefits without all the calories.
Any more questions? Just ask us at STAT Health. We’ve got a lot of chocoholics on staff!