Chocolate is everyone’s guilty pleasure, people enjoy it because of its delicious taste and to satisfy their sweet tooth, but did you know, that chocolate has many health benefits too. Now that’s something good to hear, but here, we are talking about dark chocolate and not its sugary counterpart.
People love chocolate and for many chocolate lovers, knowing that chocolate is healthy for them is nothing short of an opportunity to rejoice. However, not all chocolates are the same. Their health benefits are not even close to each other. The processed, sweetened chocolate does not come even close to dark chocolate when we talk about health, but dark chocolate has countless health benefits. Let us talk about some of the possible benefits of dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Supports Heart Health
Studies have proven that cocoa is an excellent choice when it comes to heart health. Flavanols, the main type of flavonoids present in dark chocolate make it a great food to stay away from cardiovascular diseases. They have a positive effect on the heart health and help fight cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart and the brain.
Dark Chocolate Helps Depression
Some of the components present in dark chocolate namely, Theobromine, Anandamide, and Phenethylamine are responsible for creating excitability and boosting up your mood. Phenethylamine metabolizes into your body into Serotonin. Serotonin is a mood regulating chemical produced by your body. These chemicals can give you a mood and energy boost preventing you from depression.
Dark Chocolate Protects from Diseases Causing Free Radicals
Dark chocolate can fight free radicals in our body. Free Radicals are compounds that are created by a cellular process in your body. Antioxidants present in dark chocolate like vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals neutralize the free radicals and help our body from their damage.
Stay Away from Cancer with Dark Chocolate
According to studies, the flavonoids present in dark chocolate may help in the prevention of cancer. The evidence found from the studies conducted suggests that eating dark chocolate can contribute to stay away from cancer.
Dark Chocolate Improves Cognitive Function
The flavonoids present in dark chocolate have a huge role in your overall health. Flavonoids help to improve blood flow to the brain. Consuming dark chocolate that is rich in flavonoids can boost your memory and improves your cognitive abilities to help you perform better mentally.
Dark Chocolate Maintains Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels
Of the various health benefits of dark chocolate, one is that it can control your blood pressure and sugar. The high cocoa content means less sugar which again makes dark chocolate go to snack to control your blood sugar levels. So all you diabetics out there can enjoy dark chocolate and not feel guilty!
Apart from maintaining blood sugar, dark chocolate can also control your blood pressure. Some cocoa phenols present in dark chocolate lowers blood pressure.
Dark Chocolate and the Skin
Dark chocolate also helps prevent your skin from the harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. To get the best results, eat raw cocoa, but if you cannot get raw cocoa, a high-quality dark chocolate is enough to cater to your needs.
Dark Chocolate Helps in Pregnancy
Consumption of dark chocolate is good for the mother and the child as it helps in fetal growth. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure which is helpful for the mother as it reduces the risk of preeclampsia where the blood flow to the fetus is cut-off or limited.
Dark Chocolate Can Alleviate Coughs
Theobromine found in dark chocolate can cause a problem to the activity of the vagus nerve. Vagus nerve is that part of your brain which once activated can cause coughing fits. Scientists are working on producing medicines that contain theobromine.
Dark Chocolate Boosts Immunity
Dark chocolate’s high antioxidant content added with some other nutrients is a perfect combination for a better immune system. Cocoa regulates the inflammatory response of your immune system. Flavonoids are said to have anti-inflammatory characteristics which constitute a larger part of chocolate!
So next time your mother stops you from eating chocolate, show her this and tell her about the different health benefits chocolate possesses and enjoy your guilty pleasure!