For years, all types of chocolate were put into category of junk food that is delicious but harmful to the health. However, recently it is discovered that dark chocolate can brings a variety of benefits to human if it is consumed in moderation. It could be the one that carry you through gloomy day, mental and physical challenges or stress from work and family.
Dark chocolate, which is made from cocoa seeds, is a plain chocolate without milk or just a little of milk. Among various types of chocolate, the dark one is outstanding for the higher concentration of flavonoids, which provide anti-oxidant benefits. This makes dark chocolate a powerful remedy to lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and also stimulates serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant.
Let see what benefits that dark chocolate can offer
1. A healthy nutritious source
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber.
- 67% of the RDA for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
- Plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
This indicates the rich content of dark chocolate of Fiber, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese and other minerals, etc. Though there are a lot of nutrients in a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate, it doesn’t mean that you should consume such amount of chocolate a day since it would bring 600 calories and sugars along. Do not forget that this food is still high at fat, which can cause obesity.
Dark chocolate only takes its best effect when it is consumed in appropriate amount.
2. Improve blood flow
Another amazing effect of dark chocolate is boosting blood flow, and lowering blood pressure. More clearly, the flavanols in it promotes the endothelium to produce Nitric Oxide to send signals to the arteries to relax, making the blood flow well.
3. Prevent heart disease
Dark chocolate proves to effectively raise HDL and prevent LDL from oxidation. This is shown in several studies when there is a dramatic reduction of cardiovascular disease risk in people who consume the most of dark chocolate.
Apparently, thanks to powerful antioxidants, the cocoa ingredient in dark chocolate is the agent that can reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol as well as increase HDL.
In other word, this wonderful food has the ability to adjust the ratio of bad and good cholesterol, decreasing the risk o heart disease or stroke.
Dark chocolate can also go as far as protecting against diabetes as it can reduce insulin resistance, improving insulin sensitivity.
Eating chocolate 2 or more times per week is recommended to lower the risk of diabetes.
5. Good for skin
Studies show that the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate is beneficial for your skin. Concretely, the flavanols from cocoa is able to not only protect your skin from UV damage but also improves blood flow to the skin. Besides, this substance is reported to help improve skin hydration and thickness, making it look younger and more elastic.
Another skin benefit that dark chocolate can bring to you is the stress hormones reduction, leading to the less collagen breakdown in the skin and fewer wrinkles.
For all of these, do not forget to include dark chocolate in your healthy beauty tips.
6. Improve brain function
The regular consumption of dark chocolate is believed to help improve blood flow to the brain, which improves cognitive function in elderly people with mental damage as well as brain function for short term.
Besides, by eating dark chocolate, your mood and cognitive health will be significantly improved due to the phenylethulamine (PEA) in chocolate, which is the same chemical produced when you feel you are in love. This PEA urges your brain to release endorphins, making you feel happier.
Although dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee, it still have enough to keep you fresh and awake.
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