Dark chocolate offers a number of amazing benefits like lowering blood pressure, fighting oxidative stress, improving heart health, preventing cancer, regulating cholesterol levels, improving cognition, and many more. Its antioxidant-rich nature also promotes hair and skin care.
What is Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate, also known as black chocolate, is made from cocoa butter instead of milk-based butter. It contains a higher level of cocoa or cacao, around 60% to 99%. Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods and it is the high cocoa content in dark chocolate that makes it a superior antioxidant. The more the cocoa content in dark chocolate, the richer and bittersweet it becomes in taste. The dry and semisweet taste of this chocolate is attributed to the lack of milk solids in it. Instead, it contains vanilla and some other emulsifiers like soy lecithin to preserve its uniqueness in flavor and texture.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Some of the many health benefits of dark chocolate are as follows:
Reduces Blood Pressure
Eating a delicious piece of chocolate can possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphins that may give rise to a happy feeling. In addition, the dark variety of chocolate contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are major stimulants.
Improves Blood Circulation
Eating dark chocolate not only relaxes the body, but also makes the blood vessels more flexible. It also boosts the functioning of the endothelial cells that line the blood cells. It also decreases the risk of developing innumerable cardiovascular diseases.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
It has been medically proven to reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the human body significantly, up to 10-12%.
The two kinds of flavonoids present in chocolates are mainly Catechins and Epicatechins. Dark chocolate has a high level of Catechins, which boosts the human body’s immune system and possibly prevents major chronic ailments.
The flavonoid compounds are useful in treating anemic patients as well as those having poor dietary habits.
Rich in Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant. Reports from the National Institute of Food & Nutrition Research in Italy suggests that these antioxidants actually neutralize free radicals and other dangerous molecules that may be potential health hazards, causing diseases like cancer, premature aging, and heart disease.
The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. It contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants.
Improves Heart Health
Even a small intake of dark chocolate boosts vascular health. It contains a lot of polyphenols and antioxidants.
The antioxidants present in dark chocolate helps in fighting against premature aging. The antioxidants also help in fighting against heart diseases.
One of the most exciting health benefits of dark chocolate is that it helps in enhancing the production of endorphins, which result in the generation of feelings of pleasure in human beings.
For chocolate lovers all over the world, the main manufacturers and chocolate wholesalers have responded to the health benefits of dark chocolate by enlightening the customers on its tremendous health potential. It, with its cocoa content, mineral sources, and Gallic acid, provide protection against LDL oxidation.
Medical research has observed a moderate reduction in blood pressure levels after daily consumption of 100 grams of delightful dark chocolate. Basically, find some dark chocolate and enjoy!