5 reasons why eating dark chocolate is healthy
For years there have been myths surrounding the health benefits of chocolate. But not all chocolate is created equally, and lovers of milk or white varieties are out of luck. It is in the bitter and unsweetened dark chocolate that most of the health benefits lie.
Here are 5 reasons dark chocolate is good for us in small quantities:
The cacao bean has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients in the world. It has a huge number of biologically active compounds with antioxidant activity. It’s filled with polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins and even theobromine (the compound touted to have antidepressant effects). These antioxidants can help destroy free radicals, a prerequisite to cancer.
Reduce Risks During Pregnancy
Studies have shown that chocolate can help improve foetal growth. It can also help reduce the risk of preeclampsia by lowering the mother’s blood pressure.
Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that chocolate consumption might help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, also known as “bad fats.
The study authors wrote, “results indicate that regular consumption of chocolate bars containing plant sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF), as part of a low-fat diet, may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure.”
Reduce Memory Decline
Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people.
The researchers found that hot chocolate helped improve blood flow to parts of the brain where it was needed.
Boosts the Immune Systems
Dark chocolate’s potent antioxidant content—along with some of the other mechanisms of nutrients—make it a treat for your immune system. Cocoa can modulate the inflammatory response of your immune system.
When purchasing dark chocolate, look for ones with a 70% or higher cacao content. If your chocolate says, “processed with alkali” on the nutrition label, then it’s going to have less flavanols.