Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Statistics for the consumption of food in the USA show that Americans, consume 2.8 billion pounds of it per year (more than 11 pounds per person). So, if we link that with eating of dark chocolate with all its health benefits, it might seem too good for those who consume it.
The experts agree that dark chocolate has some serious health benefits, but if it is consumed at a moderated level. The dark chocolate consumed in that way could enhance your overall health.
- Nutritional Values
Dark chocolate is packed with numerous healthy compounds, so in one 100-gram bar of dark chocolate, made with 70-85% cocoa, you’ll get:
– 98% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for manganese
– 11 grams of fiber
– 89% of the RDI for copper
– 67% of the RDI for iron
– Lots of potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium
– 58% of the RDI for magnesium
This chocolate bar also provides 600 calories, which also includes a moderate amount of sugar. For that reason, make sure you check serving sizes on any chocolate you’re eating and consumption should be in moderation.
- Full of Antioxidants
The high level of the antioxidants found in the dark chocolate helps to combat free radicals. They are, actually, unstable cells that contribute to both aging and cancer. These waste substances are produced by the body in reaction to environmental factors. The factors, which enhance the production of free radicals may be internal (inflammation), or external (pollution, cigarette smoke, and UV exposure.
Researchers, in many cases, test the presence of the antioxidants in the food, by placing free radicals and a food sample together. Observation will show how effectively antioxidants in combating free radicals in the food are.
One of the highest scores of antioxidant activity ever tested is, exactly the raw, unprocessed cocoa beans. The dark chocolate contains polyphenols, catechins, and flavanols, as well as other organic compounds, which act as antioxidants.
- May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease it is always important to find the way how to lower it. The experts recommend consuming dark chocolate, as it has several properties that can help in reducing blood pressure. The best results are seen by taking flavanols contained in the dark chocolate, which can stimulate the lining of the arteries to produce nitric oxide. The signals sent by the nitric oxide relax the arteries that allow greater blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
Many other long-term observational studies have found a link between eating dark chocolate and lowering the risk of other heart diseases. Some compounds in dark chocolate can protect against low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, which keeps cholesterol from building up in arteries and helps in lowering heart disease risk.
- Can Boost Brain Function
The 2012 study, which involved 90 elderly persons, with mild cognitive impairment, showed that those who consumed high-flavanol cocoa once a day for eight weeks had promising results. On a verbal fluency test and some other cognitive function tests their scores were encouraging, while their blood pressure, insulin resistance, and lipid peroxidation all decreased. Their improvement of insulin sensitivity, according to the researchers, increased the cognitive function of the subjects.
Knowing all of the great things the dark chocolate is doing, everyone should enjoy a little bit every day, but it should be eaten in moderation.