Is dark chocolate good for you? Whilst chocolate is often seen as the food of sinners, there is good news for all those wannabe angels out there. There are actually some health benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is generally lower in sugar and higher in cocoa and is made from the seeds of the cocoa plant.
Advantages of Dark Chocolate
There are a number of effects of dark chocolate which can be beneficial to your health – and here are eight of them:
1. High in Antioxidants
One of the health benefits of dark chocolate is that it is high in antioxidants. Research shows that it is full of biologically active organic compounds that function as antioxidants.
2. Helps your Cholesterol
Another effect of dark chocolate is that it can reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol in men. LDL is the ‘bad cholesterol’ that can cause heart disease in men. It also increases the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL).
3. Boosts Brain Power
If you have a big test or meeting coming up, you should consider some dark chocolate right before. Dark chocolate gives your brain a short-term burst of energy, typically increasing your alertness for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Improves Blood Flow to the Brain
The flavanols in dark chocolate can also improve blood flow to the brain, helping particularly with older people who are suffering from a mental impairment and verbal fluency.
5. Improves Skin
Another advantage of dark chocolate is that it is full of flavanols. They can improve the blood flow to your skin, reduce UV sun damage, improve hydration and increase the density of the skin.
6. Provides Nutrients
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains a plethora of nutrients, including fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
7. Increases Blood Flow and Lowers Blood Pressure
The flavanols can help to produce nitrogen oxide in the blood, which can help to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
8. Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
There is research that shows that dark chocolate can be useful in the oxidation of LDL. This means that less cholesterol can clog up the arteries, potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
9. Improves Eyesight
Research shows that when people consumed dark chocolate with 720 mg of cocoa flavanols experienced improved visual performance. This included reading low contrast letter and detecting motion. The results are like linked to the increased blood flow to the brain and retina.
For those who are wondering whether dark chocolate is good for you, the answer is yes, within reason. There are—of course —other factors which need to be taken into account such as the amount of sugar, fat and calories that are in the chocolate. However, there are many positives to consuming small amounts of dark chocolate.
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