What could probably be better than having to eat greens for nutrition? Getting to eat chocolate for healthy nutrients! Yes, eating healthy isn't that bad. It is International Chocolate day, a perfect day to talk about the health benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolates are loaded with health benefits, more than you can imagine. On World Chocolate Day, let's celebrate the health benefits of this sumptuous food of the gods.
The other kinds of chocolates are usually loaded with sugar making it extremely unhealthy for consumption. Dark chocolate contains an excellent variety of fatty acid, the fat content is mostly the saturated and monosaturated ones with a minimal amount of polyunsaturated fat, which means if you are on a weight loss diet and craving for chocolate you might want to eat a tiny piece of dark chocolate as a healthy treat. Here are a few health benefits of dark chocolate that you should know of.
Packed with Amazing Nutrients
Cocoa tree seeds are probably one of the best sources of antioxidants. We are talking about the chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa is the kind of chocolate that is rich in various nutrients like, soluble fibre, minerals.
Here's what every 100-gram bar of dark chocolate(70-80% cocoa) contains(You must consume that 100 grams of dark chocolate every day as it also includes some amount of sugar. The key is in moderation):
11 grams of soluble fibre
58% of the Recommended Daily Intake(RDI) for magnesium
67% of the Recommended Daily Intake(RDI) for iron
89% of the Recommended Daily Intake(RDI) for copper
It is also rich in fair amounts of potassium, zinc, selenium and phosphorus.
Rich in Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is a potent source of polyphenols, catechins, flavanols, etc. these are biologically active organic compounds.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure
The flavanols content helps improve the blood flow and even helps lower BP as it can stimulate the lining of arteries, to produce nitric oxide. It helps lower the resistance of the blood flow which in turn help reduce blood pressure.
Helps Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Cocoa is known to decrease oxidised LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL which in turn helps to improve your overall heart health. It also helps reduce insulin resistance which is another factor contributing to heart health risks. According to a study conducted on 470 men, cocoa was found to "Reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 50 percent."
Help Protect Skin from Damage and Ageing
Flavonols present in dark chocolate can help protect your skin from sun damage and also improve the blood flow in the skin while enhancing its density and keeping it hydrated. The antioxidants present in dark chocolate helps protect your skin from ageing sooner.
Helps Improve Brain Function
The flavanol content in dark chocolate helps improve the blood flow in the brain which in turn helps improve the cognitive functioning of the brain even in elderly. Dark chocolate also has a significant amount of caffeine and theobromine which also contributes to improving brain function.
Helps Reduce Stress and Mental Health
Eating dark chocolate makes you happy and helps reduce the levels of your stress hormone, cortisol as well as catecholamines which increases stress. So if you feel a little stressed out take a bite of dark chocolate to feel better.
Make sure that you choose dark chocolate bars that are of high quality, rich in cocoa and low in sugar. Don't forget to read the label and find out the other ingredients used in it. Now you can take a guilt-free bite of dark chocolate, here and there. Make sure not to exceed the amount in a day.
(References:Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate )