We don’t need to introduce you to an ancient dark chocolate meal that goes back to 2000 BC. When chocolate was originally discovered, it was consumed as a bitter fermented beverage combined with spices or wine by the Maya of Central America. From the Aztec term “xocoatl,” which refers to a bitter drink made from cacao beans, we get the word “chocolate.”
Dark chocolate has a greater cocoa content than milk chocolate, with cocoa solids ranging from 50 to 99 percent. Maybe you’re happy with a 70 percent block, or maybe you’ve worked your way up to a 95 percent block. The healthier your dark chocolate is, the fewer additives it has, such as sugar or milk. Because of this, the question “Is dark chocolate healthy?” cannot be answered by simply saying that all chocolate is created equal.
So, what are the hidden benefits of dark chocolates recommended by many? Is this worth eating? What do health experts say? In this article, we will discuss all these questions that relate to the benefits of dark chocolates:
Protects Your Heart, Control Blood Sugar, Reduce Stroke
Researchers claim that dark chocolate may improve heart health, which is one of the most important advantages. People who ate more chocolate per day had a decreased risk of both heart disease and stroke, according to a meta-analysis of eight studies published in July 2015 in the journal Heart.
Inflammatory characteristics, antithrombotic qualities, and antihypertensive properties are all found in dark chocolate. It was reported in 2011 that chocolate intake was related to a 39 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.
As a bonus, chocolate can help reduce your blood pressure. In certain cases, chocolate might be a more cost-effective and pleasurable approach to reduce blood pressure than prescription drugs. Recently, 24 papers on chocolate were analyzed by Harvard researchers as part of a new study. Dark chocolate with between 50 and 70 percent cocoa was found to decrease blood pressure in more than 1,000 individuals.
Good for Gut, Helps to Reduce Weight Loss
Eating dark chocolates in the moderate portion may help reduce hunger, which in turn might aid weight reduction. Researchers have also shown that chocolate acts as a prebiotic (not to be confused with a probiotic), a type of fiber that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach during digestion.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the more “good” microorganisms in your system, the better your body is able to absorb nutrients and sustain a balanced metabolism.
May Prevent Cancers
There is some evidence that dark chocolate may help protect against some forms of cancer, although it is still limited. According to an article published in January 2015 in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, antioxidants protect our cells from harm produced by free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules considered to be responsible for aging and illness.
A study published in the American Society of Hypertension journal found that those who eat a lot of flavonoids or antioxidant-rich chocolate had a lower risk of developing cancer than those who don’t. According to researchers, two flavonoids, in particular, epicatechin and quercetin, are likely to be responsible for the chocolate’s cancer-fighting effects.
Loaded with Full of Antioxidants, Protect Your Skin
Antioxidants are abundant in dark chocolate. By separating free radicals and antioxidants from chocolate, researchers determined the Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI). They are the catalyst for cancer development, and antioxidants can help prevent the spread of these free radicals.
Essentially, the two opposing extracts were placed outside of the human body to fight each other. Antioxidants found in cacao (at least in vivo) are highly powerful in fighting free radicals. Among all the vitamins and minerals that dark chocolate contains Manganese that aid in the synthesis of collagen. This Manganese is a protein that keeps skin appearing young and healthy.
Other minerals, like calcium, help heal and regenerate skin, which is crucial because, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, our bodies can shed up to 40,000 skin cells per day! Dark chocolate’s high amounts of antioxidants have also been proven to protect the skin from the sun’s strong ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Dark Chocolate Can Help in Pregnancy
There is some evidence to suggest that chocolate aids in the fetus’s development. It’s possible for some moms to develop preeclampsia if their fetus’s blood supply is cut off or restricted. As a result of elevated blood pressure, which is normal during pregnancy, this can happen to you. But Preeclampsia risk can be reduced by consuming chocolate regularly.
Improve Your Brain Health
The good news doesn’t end there. Dark chocolate may also help your cognitive function. This research examines the advantages of chocolate intake on the brain. Chocoholics benefit from better cognitive processing, visual-spatial awareness, abstract reasoning, scanning, working memory as well as higher Global Composite scores.
The flavonols in chocolate, according to research by British psychologists, assist people with their mental math. Before and after consuming a cup of hot chocolate, participants were asked to count backward on a randomly generated number test. Chocolate before a test might be beneficial in this case.
Decrease Your Stress
As a result of the body’s stress reaction, dark chocolate can be quite helpful. But if we give in too often and indulge in emotional eating, we might acquire a lot of weight. Dark chocolate may be enjoyed without worrying about what it will do to your waistline when consumed thoughtfully. Eat the chocolate piece in silence so you can completely appreciate its taste and texture. Your tendency to overeat decreases the more you engage in this process.
Researchers at the 2018 Experimental Biology conference showed that consuming 48 grams of organic chocolate with 70% cacao enhanced neuroplasticity in the brain, which might have favorable impacts on memory and cognition as well as on mood and emotions.
After getting all the incredible benefits, you may ask, what are the ideal dark chocolate dosages one should take? Several studies that have demonstrated a substantial degree of effect employed dose levels as high as 400 and 500 mg of flavanols per day. Start with a low dose of a supplement or one ounce of dark chocolate with more than 75 percent cocoa each day as a suitable starting point. In order to obtain the desired benefits on cardiovascular and mental health, you might talk with your doctor if boosting the quantity would be the most effective method.