If you have a sweet tooth but would like to keep fit, chocolate is your best option. But it only counts if you eat dark chocolate. Did you know that dark chocolate is even better than green tea? It is full of nutrients and antioxidants. And the darker chocolate you eat, the more nutrients you receive. Just imagine how many desserts you can come up with, starting with a hot cocoa powder drink and finishing with an exquisite chocolate cake. To make sure you are consuming a high-quality chocolate bar, always check the label. Look for a high percentage of cocoa, and the fewer ingredients included in the product, the better! Keep reading if you want to find out why dark chocolate is so healthy.
It Is A Natural Source Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are special molecules that fight against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons, making them highly reactive chemically. They can damage cells and DNA. Antioxidants, therefore, protect the body from oxidative stress. Therefore, antioxidants can help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, and other diseases. Dark chocolate is a natural source of antioxidants.
Can Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that chocolate is a good source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant-based polyphenols that can improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk of heart disease. Compounds in dark chocolate called polyphenols are also associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of blood clotting. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which help lower your blood pressure. This effect is especially beneficial for people who have hypertension or prehypertension. Additionally, flavonoids can also lower levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Can Protect You From Cancer
Antioxidants in dark chocolate can reduce damage to cells caused by free radicals. Therefore, they can decrease the risk of developing cancer. Chocolate also contains compounds called phenolic acids that can improve immune system function. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, so they can reduce the risk of getting cancer.
Can Help You Lose Weight
Chocolate may really be an ideal weight-loss food because it contains both protein and fiber, which help you feel full for a long time after eating it. In fact, research shows that eating one square of dark chocolate after a meal can reduce appetite by up to 40%.
Might Help You Sleep Better And Longer
Dark chocolate has been associated with better sleep quality and longer sleep duration because of certain compounds like tryptophan and melatonin contained in it. Tryptophan can boost serotonin levels in your brain, which can improve your mood and make you feel relaxed. Melatonin helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Can Improve Your Memory And Cognitive Functioning
Dark chocolate is linked with improved brain health and a lower risk of dementia in older adults because it contains antioxidant compounds (flavonoids) that protect neurons from damage and improve cognitive functioning.
Filled With Nutrients
Chocolate is a food that contains a number of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. But not all products are created equal. The quality of the chocolate depends on its source, how it was made and what types of ingredients were used. For example, dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa, which means it has more antioxidants than white chocolate.
In general, dark chocolate contains these nutrients:
- Calcium – This mineral is essential for your bones and teeth health. It can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Magnesium – This mineral is important for bone health, as well as the functioning of muscles and nerves.
- Iron – This mineral is important for your immune system and red blood cell production.
- Manganese – This mineral is important for bone health, as well as carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
- Copper – This mineral helps your body with iron absorption and prevents oxidative stress.
- Zinc – This mineral is important for immunity, wound healing, and cell division.
- Phosphorus – This mineral is important for healthy bones and teeth. It also helps with muscle function and nerve signaling.
It is best to eat dark chocolate because it contains these nutrients in high amounts. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine or don’t like the taste, then switch to white chocolate or another type of chocolate.
Full of Antioxidants and Vitamin E
Antioxidants are very important for our body as they fight free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage cells and cause aging and even cancer. Dark chocolate contains the highest amount of antioxidants, which is almost seven times higher than red wine. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in the production of red blood cells. It has antioxidant properties which prevent cell deterioration.
Can Help Relieve Stress
Stress can be harmful to your health. It causes many health problems and can even cause death in some extreme cases. That’s why everyone should look for ways to relieve stress since it can have negative effects on both physical and mental health. Eating dark chocolate can help reduce stress levels because it contains certain chemicals that make you happy. According to a study from Finland, eating dark chocolate raises endorphins levels in the human body, which makes you happier and calmer.
Contains Magnesium Which Is Good for Your Heart
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. It helps in the functioning of muscles, nerves, and bones. This mineral also lowers blood pressure which is crucial for heart health. Chocolate is rich in magnesium so it can help you lower your blood pressure and stay healthy.
You're probably wondering while everything above sounds good, how much should you eat? Well, according to the study mentioned above, the participants that ate chocolate daily lost 5 pounds (2 kg) more than their counterparts. Eating just one bar of dark chocolate every day can be very beneficial for your health. It doesn’t mean you have to buy a large package of chocolate bars every day.
If you are worried that you will gain weight if you eat too much dark chocolate, start with eating just a few squares of it daily. This way, your body will get used to consuming small amounts of calories, and soon enough you will feel like eating more. Consuming dark chocolate every day can be very beneficial for your health. You should make sure that you consume a high-quality chocolate bar that contains a high percentage of cocoa and few ingredients. And don’t forget to buy the darkest possible chocolate bar!
Interested in eating more healthy for life?
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