Have you ever wondered if chocolate had any positive health benefits? Or asked google, “Is chocolate good for you?”. What if we told you that eating chocolate everyday might not be as bad as your parents, dentist and doctors always made you believe. Of course, there is a difference between over-indulging and treating yourself but there actually are proven benefits to eating dark chocolate!
While dark chocolate is a better choice than white chocolate or milk chocolate it still contains high amounts of saturated fats and calories. Dieticians recommend only eating an ounce per day to ensure minimal weight gain. Here are the health benefits you probably don’t know!
Dark Chocolate Is A Powerful Source Of Antioxidants
Why are antioxidants important? They are more than important, they are essential to the survival of all living things. They protect our cells from free radicals, which are responsible for many diseases and health conditions such as cancer.
According to a recent study, raw cocoa beans and dark chocolate are a very powerful source of antioxidants. Even when compared to blueberries, which are typically seen as the poster child for this topic, and other fruits of this nature, dark chocolate was significantly higher. This has a positive influence on your body’s natural ability to defend you from disease.
It Could Improve Your Brain Function
“Cocoa contains stimulant substances, such as caffeine and theobromine” (Healthline, 2021), which are attributed as the cause for short-term cognitive improvements. Over the longer term, dark chocolate has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved speech and cognitive abilities in mildly impaired adults.
It May Decrease Risk of Heart Disease And Stroke
Many researchers and health experts praise dark chocolate for its role in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. In a study conducted by The National Library of Medicine, showed a link between the daily consumption of dark chocolate and the correlated decreased risk of developing serious heart conditions. In fact it found that, “people who ate dark chocolate more than five times a week reduced their risk of heart disease by 57%” (Brooks, 2019)
Similar studies have been conducted to establish a link between chocolate consumption and stroke as well. Such as the one published in the Journal Heart, which found people who ate more chocolate every day at a lower risk of stroke. This relationship is hypothesized to be due to the presence of flavonoids in dark chocolate, which have been found to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
It Could Actually Help You LOSE Weight!
Sounds crazy right? Well, it might not be as ridiculous as it sounds. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate before and after a meal triggers the release of hormones that actually suppresses your appetite by telling your brain you are full. This is conceptualized in neurologist Will Clower’s book Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight.
There is also substantial evidence found in numerous studies that dark chocolate “behaves like a probiotic, a type of fibre that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut” (Brooks, 2019). The more “good” bacteria that exists, the better your digestive system can function thus resulting in a higher metabolism.
It Could Help Clear Your Acne
Dark chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals essential to getting that glowy look, such as: copper, iron and magnesium. Magnesium for example, increases the production of collagen which in relation to your skin, helps your skin retain elasticity and youthfulness.
There have also been studies conducted that establish a connection between dark chocolate and increased skin elasticity in the presence of UV rays. So eating dark chocolate could actually help protect your skin in the heat too!
Above all else, chocolate is definitely a must for those late night cravings and everything in between. We could go on all day about the deliciousness of this treat and still not have enough time. If we had to give you one piece it would be to just eat the chocolate, it could actually even help you live longer!