Dark Chocolate Health Benefits: Let’s face it chocolate is one of life`s most decadent treats. No matter how you enjoy it like a candy bar, in a hot drink, drizzled over ice cream chocolate brings joy.
Although chocolate is delicious, it’s not always nutritious or even real chocolate at all. White chocolate, for example, doesn`t contain cocoa solids. That means it`s much more of a confection than anything else.
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Is dark chocolate healthy?
Compared to other types of chocolate, dark chocolate stands out. “Sweet chocolate has less sugar and fat than milk and white chocolate, adding that it also contains beneficial antioxidants called flavonoids.
Milk chocolate and dark chocolate contain similar ingredients in the core, such as cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa cake. However, the two types of chocolate have different cocoa contents.
“Dark chocolate contains 50% to 90% cocoa solids,” says Peart. “And milk chocolate is between 10% and 50%.”
Not surprisingly, the proportion of cocoa solids can affect the magnitude of the benefits of dark chocolate. “The more cocoa solids you have, the more flavonoids you have and the less sugar you have,” “Using 75% or 80% dark chocolate add less sugar than 50% dark chocolate.”
In addition to the low sugar content, other benefits of dark chocolate include:
Rich in flavanols
Flavanols are a type of flavonoid found in plants such as the cacao tree. These trees produce the cocoa beans used to make chocolate. “Flavanols are abundant in cocoa beans,” says Peart. “Cacao beans are fermented and roasted to make so-called cocoa beans. They are used to make cocoa solids. “
Dark chocolate “contains 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate,” Peart adds. “It’s pretty expensive.”
This is a great health benefit for your heart and this is the one on the top of the list of eating Dark Chocolate Health Benefits.
Flavanols are associated with the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. This also lowers blood pressure.
Better blood circulation is also good for our overall health. “Improved blood flow means protection against heart disease,” says Peart. “Because the blood flow in the brain improves, it is also useful for cognition (understanding of thinking).”
Flavanols also have antioxidant properties that help fight aging-related cell damage. Further research is needed, but scientists have also found some evidence that flavanol-rich chocolate may increase insulin sensitivity. “The more sensitive you are to insulin, the lower your risk of diabetes,” says Peart.
The source of important minerals
Many people are not aware of dark chocolate health benefits. Dark chocolate is rich in important minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus. In the body, these minerals are used to support factors such as immunity (zinc), help keep bones and teeth healthy (phosphorus) and improve sleep quality (magnesium). So we can say there are lots of dark Chocolate Health Benefits.
As the name implies, milk chocolate contains some form of milk or milk solids. However, dark chocolate is generally considered to be dairy-free. So if you’re sensitive to dairy products or are trying to avoid using dairy products, this is a good option. Peart points out that the manufacturing process can introduce dairy products into chocolate, so it’s a good idea to check the ingredients list before you buy.
High in dietary fiber
Compared to other sweet treats, dark chocolate is rich in fiber. “A small amount of dark chocolate (about an ounce) contains about 4 grams of fiber,” says Peart. So you are not buying only dark chocolate indeed you are purchasing chocolate health benefits.
Chocolate benefits for skin
The antioxidants in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the skin and protect it from sunburn damage. One small study found that ingesting flavanol-rich chocolate, or dark chocolate, can protect the skin from the effects of ultraviolet light (ultraviolet rays).
It makes you feel better.
Good news: If you feel better after eating dark chocolate, there are scientific reasons. Dark chocolate has long been associated with indulgence and indulgence. These feelings can come from what are called polyphenol compounds.
“Polyphenols are antioxidants that lower the stress hormone cortisol,” explains Peart. “That is, eating dark chocolate has a boosting effect.” In fact, according to a study published in January 2023, participants who ate 85% of dark chocolate daily ate chocolate with less cocoa. Overall, I felt better than the participants who ate or didn’t eat chocolate at all-I ate.
Are there any disadvantages of dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate has a higher level of bitterness and contains more caffeine. “Caffeine can exacerbate reflux and heartburn,” says Peart. “If you’re sensitive to caffeine, or if you don’t want caffeine because it’s a stimulant, stay away from dark chocolate.”
However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. “Even if you have 2 ounces of 70% dark chocolate, it still contains about 50-60 milligrams of caffeine,” says Peart. “8 ounces of coffee, much smaller than most people drink, contains 100-200 milligrams.”
Dark chocolate also contains a “moderate amount of saturated fat,” Peart adds. This is associated with high cholesterol. “But the benefits of flavanols’ cardioprotection probably outweigh the shortcomings of saturated fat in dark chocolate.”
What is the recommended serving size for dark chocolate?
According to Peart, the recommended serving of dark chocolate is 1-2 ounces, which is about 30-60 grams. There’s more chocolate than you think. For example, an ounce corresponds to three thin squares of chocolate carved from a large stick. We can get dark chocolate health benefits when we take it in a little enough.
Should You Eat Dark Chocolate Every Day?
As with any sweet treat, moderation is key. “A common misconception is, ‘Dark chocolate is good for me, so I can eat as much as I want,'” says Peart. “Sweet chocolate has antioxidants like flavanols, but they aren’t convincing enough to say that you absolutely should include this in your diet.” It’s a high-calorie food. It’s definitely something to enjoy in moderation. ”
Peart recommends thinking about your dark chocolate consumption much like you would consider your consumption of nuts. Both are filling meaning, you don’t have to eat as much to feel satisfied, and high in fat, so they are high in calories. You want to stick to smaller portions.
“That being said, the reason why I do often recommend dark chocolate as a good option for a snack or a treat is that it has a strong bitter flavor,” Peart says. “We don’t need a lot of chocolate to enjoy them.”
Indeed, because of this strong taste, dark chocolate is an acquired taste. “When people have it for the first time, they usually don’t like it,” Peart says. She recommends starting with dark chocolate, which has less bitterness and works upward. “Start with 50% dark chocolate and work up to 65% and then 70%.”
There are some drawbacks, but overall, dark chocolate is a healthier choice when looking for a delicious way to finish a meal. “And you need less to feel full than other sweets,” says Peart. “Dark chocolate is calming. It tells your brain that you’re happy and done, and because it’s full [satisfaction], you’re more likely to feel like you’ve eaten enough. “