8 Healthy Reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate:- Research suggests that flavonoids, plant molecules that function as antioxidants, may help prevent cancer and heart disease in dark chocolate. Toby Amidor, RD, a cookbook author and Food Network nutrition expert, claims theobromine in cacao may reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
8 Healthy Reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate
1. Dark Chocolate May Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke Risk
- Researchers say dark chocolate may improve heart health. A systematic review and meta-analysis indicated that eating chocolate weekly reduced artery blockage risk by 8%.
- Another study of over 188,000 veterans found that eating 1 oz of chocolate regularly reduced coronary heart disease risk.
2. The Treat May Enhance Memory, Cognition, and Mood
- Studies demonstrate that eating dark chocolate with high cacao content, like 70%, may enhance your brain. According to Joy DuBost, PhD, RD, a food scientist and global director for regulatory affairs and health science at Lipton Teas and Infusions in St. Petersburg, Florida, chocolate stimulates neural activity in pleasure and reward areas of the brain, reducing stress and improving mood.
- Eating 48 grammes (g) — a little more than 1.5 oz — of 70% cacao organic chocolate increased neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new synaptic connections, which may improve memory, cognition, and mood.
3. Dark chocolate may lower blood sugar and diabetes risk
- It may seem counterintuitive to eat chocolate every day to prevent diabetes, but studies have shown that eating dark chocolate high in cacao can enhance glucose metabolism.
- Insulin resistance promotes high blood glucose and is the characteristic of type 2 diabetes, study shows.
- Dark chocolate flavonoids reduced oxidative stress, which experts believe causes insulin resistance, in one research.
- Insulin resistance and diabetes risk decrease with insulin sensitivity.
4. Chocolate May Aid Weight Loss and Gut Health
- Eating chocolate every day may seem like the last way to lose weight, but study reveals dark chocolate may help manage hunger. The book Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight by neuroscientist Will Clower, PhD, shows how eating dark chocolate before or after meals sends hormones to the brain that signal fullness. Of course, consuming more than the suggested amount per day can negate any weight loss, and dark chocolate won’t fix an unhealthy diet.
- Chocolate acts like a prebiotic (not a probiotic), a form of fibre that promotes gut bacteria growth, during digestion, according to research. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, more “good” bacteria help your body absorb nutrients and maintain a healthy metabolism.
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5. It Fights Free Radicals and May Prevent Cancer
- Evidence that dark chocolate may prevent certain cancers is modest but growing. Research suggests that free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that cause ageing and disease, destroy cells. Antioxidants protect them.
- Dr. DuBost says too many free radicals in the body assault cells, causing low-grade inflammation and diseases including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
- Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which the American Cancer Society says can prevent cell damage that leads to many cancers. Research suggests that epicatechin, one of chocolate’s numerous flavonoids, fights cancer.
- According to USDA data, chocolate is a strong source of magnesium, and one study discovered that immune cells can only target aberrant or infected cells in magnesium-rich environments.
6. It Benefits Your Skin in Multiple Ways
- Dark chocolate contains vitamins and minerals including copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese, which are good for your skin, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Manganese promotes collagen formation, which keeps skin young and healthy.
- High antioxidant levels in dark chocolate may protect skin from the sun’s UV radiation, according to research.
- Other studies found no substantial UV protection effects of antioxidant-rich chocolate, but it did increase sun-exposed skin suppleness, however the mechanism is unknown.
7. Dark chocolate may raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
- Dark chocolate is also known to lower cholesterol, which is why a handful of almonds, dark chocolate, and unsweetened cocoa significantly lowered overweight and obese participants’ LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, in one study.
- Cocoa butter in dark chocolate may also raise HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol, according to DuBost. MedlinePlus says cocoa butter includes monounsaturated oleic acid, like olive oil.
- However, unlike olive oil, cocoa butter is heavy in saturated fat, which can hurt the heart, emphasising the need for portion control, according to the USDA.
8. Dark Chocolate Is Delicious and Healthy!
- Dark chocolate has several nutrients, in addition to its other benefits.
- According to study, 70% dark chocolate or higher contains antioxidants, fibre, potassium, calcium, copper, and magnesium.
- Darker chocolate is better.
- It’s high in calories and fat, so watch your intake. Every chocolate brand is processed differently.
- Amidor recommends organic (Rainforest Alliance Certified) products because they are grown without chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
- You should also check the ingredients list to make sure your chocolate has fewer and more natural ingredients.
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