How healthy is dark chocolate?
23 Benefits and Disadvantages
For centuries, chocolate has been one of the most widely bought sweet-tasting desserts in the world and dark chocolate is one of the healthier versions of this beloved dessert item. One thing that clouds this great attribute to this all-time favourite treat is the myth surrounding it that a food that tastes that good can be bad for the health. This has made chocolate one of the most enjoyed foods that can also be perceived as a danger to the your health. For this reason, many people are cautious about eating chocolate, especially those who are extremely conscious of their health particular around dark chocolate benefits-disadvantages.
Recent research has shown that chocolates, and in particular dark chocolate, might not be so bad after all. In fact, there are health benefits that are associated with chocolates that can be good for all consumers. This is particularly true if people choose and consume their chocolates wisely.
|1||Help Fight Tooth Decay||The main source of dark chocolate cacao has been proven to have antibacterial agents that actually help fight tooth decay. This is in contrast of course to the traditional myth. New research has even revealed that the cocoa extract is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities.|
|2||Elevator Of Moods||Dark chocolate is believed to be an elevator of moods as it contains phenylethylamine |
which is commonly referred to as the love drug.
|3||Helps People To Relax||Dark chocolate has a smell that actually helps people to relax and be freed for stress specifically due to the fact that it increases theta brain waves. Theta is the state of mind where it is believed you can create everything and change reality instantly.|
|4||Raises Good Cholesterol||Dark chocolate contains a kind of monounsaturated fat, called oleic acid, which raises good cholesterol. Oleic acid reduces blood pressure while increasing good HDL cholesterol.|
|5||Flavonoids||Dark chocolate contains flavonoids a natural antioxidant that protects cells against damage from free-radicals that cause oxidative stress associated with heart disease and cancer.|
|6||Increase Antioxidants||Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, [ORAC] is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. Basically dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others giving dark chocolate a high ORAC score.|
|7||Helps Increase Serotonin Levels||Chocolate contains serotonin and precursors to serotonin, so it may increase your serotonin levels, which can be beneficial in improving your mood. Chocolate containing 85 percent cocoa has the most serotonin.|
|8||Acts As Medication||Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites. Also in Mexico it is believed that hot chocolate is beneficial for treatment of chest ailments and when taken in small quantities, it is good for stomach disorders.|
|9||Lower The Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke||New research shows that middle-aged and older adults who eat up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day seem to have lower rates of heart disease than those who don't eat dark chocolate. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal's "Heart" magazine, were based on data from the EPIC-Norfolk study|
|10||Reduces Risk Of Diabetes||Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa content and very high level of antioxidants which can prevent some forms of cell damage. Research has shown that dark chocolate consumption has resulted in reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzyme levels. Which may reduce a person's risk to developing diabetes but this has to be considered with diet and other lifestyle factors.|
|11||Free Anti-Depressant||The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. It contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants.|
|12||Effective Anti-Aging||Esthechoc the brainchild of a Cambridge University spin-off lab, claims to boost antioxidant levels and increase circulation to prevent lines and keep skin looking youthful and smooth.|
|13||Natural Sunscreen||According to the British Association of Dermatologists, certain foods, including dark chocolate, can in fact help provide limited protection from the sun. In one study, adults who ate just half a small bar of dark chocolate every day for 12 weeks could stay in the sun for twice as long before getting burnt when compared to those who didn't eat any. However, you should know that the protection chocolate can provide is very minimal,|
|14||Lowers The Risk Of Alzheimer||Drinking just two cups of hot chocolate a day helps elderly people keep their brains healthy and their minds sharp by boosting the blood flow to their brains. 'As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer's.' The study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 60 people with an average age of 73 who did not have dementia. Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: 'This small study adds to a wealth of existing evidence linking vascular problems and poorer cognition. A cocoa-based treatment would likely be very popular, but it's too soon to draw any conclusions about its effects.|
|15||Release Of Nitric Oxide||The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide, a substance that helps relax blood vessels. This lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.|
|16||Improved Vision||Scientists with the University of Reading in England tested the vision of 30 men and women before and a few hours after eating chocolate. Half of the participants received white chocolate and the other half received dark chocolate. Those who received dark chocolate performed better on vision testsbetter than before the tests and better than the other participants who received white chocolate.|
|17||Chocolate Is High In Calories||It is also essential to remember that despite its apparent health benefits, dark chocolate is a high calorie and fat food, and therefore is likely to contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. The normal recommendation is a moderate intake of dark chocolate of around one ounce a few times per week|
|18||Chocolate Contains Caffeine||Dark chocolate does contain small amounts of caffeine but not nearly as much as in coffee, however, some doctors will recommend that people who are not in good health not eat foods that contain caffeine.|
|19||Characteristic Bitter Taste||Pure cocoa, the bean that chocolate is made from, is strikingly bitter. If you choose dark chocolate (ideally, 70% cocoa or more) for the health benefits mentioned previously. The darker, the better. However, you will need to accept that bitter taste.|
|20||Contain Some Saturated Fat||Cocoa does contain some saturated fat. But most of it is stearic acid -- which studies have suggested doesn't elevate blood cholesterol levels as much as other saturated fatty acids. However, chocolate products can have other types of fat added, like "milk fat" or "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" or even coconut or palm oil (both naturally saturated oils), in addition to "cocoa butter."|
|21||A Reasonable Amount Of Magnesium||Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. High magnesium foods include dark chocolate.|
|22||A Reasonable Amount Of Iron||We need iron in our diet for our bodies to make healthy red blood cells, and to sustain our energy levels. And dark chocolate is a surprising source of iron|
|23||A Reasonable Amount Of Zinc||Zinc is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining a sense of smell, keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. High zinc foods include dark chocolate|