It’s music to our ears!
In medical research all our dreams are coming true, with dark chocolate being proven empirically to have a number of healthy benefits. It’s loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. The research has shown six major benefits.
Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary stuff) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.
1. Dark chocolate is good for your heart
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. It improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
2. Dark chocolate is good for your brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. It can also help reduce your risk of stroke.
Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee.
3. Dark chocolate helps control blood sugar
Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently.
4. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the ageing process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of ageing.
5. Dark chocolate contains theobromine
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel. That means that dark chocolate, unlike most other sweets, lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene.
Theobromine is also a mild stimulant, though not as strong as caffeine. It can, however, help to suppress coughs.
6. Dark chocolate is high in vitamins and minerals
Dark chocolate contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support your health. Dark chocolate contains some of the following vitamins and minerals in high concentrations:
The copper and potassium in dark chocolate help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments. The iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia, and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
And now for the bit we already knew… It might be great in science, but lets all keep in mind that chocolate is also high in fat.
What’s your ultimate indulgence? Let us know in the comments below!
For more delicious ways to enjoy dark chocolate, check out our collection of dark chocolate recipes.
Written by Rebecca Wilson. First published at Starts at 60.