Keeping its sugar and fat content aside, dark chocolate is regarded as one of the most health-rewarding food items. Health perks of eating low sugar dark chocolate are very high in comparison to that of other comfort foods.
What makes dark chocolate so healthy?
- It is rich in anti-oxidants
- It contains theobromine
- It has a high content of vitamins and minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium etc.
- It contains stimulants like caffeine inappropriate amount
- It contains flavanols
How does dark chocolate benefit our body?
Replacing your regular chocolate bar with a bar of dark chocolate can bring about a categorical change in your health condition:
- Dark chocolate keeps your heart healthy: Moderate consumption of dark chocolate prevents arteriosclerosis.e. stiffening and hardening of arteries. Anti-oxidants in the dark chocolate eliminate free radicals in our body thus preventing various heart ailments. (Bad cholesterol) leads to higher heart risks and dark chocolate helps in reducing LDH. It also increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) level in our body. As a result, less cholesterol gets collected in arteries. Eating dark chocolate 3-4 times per week prevents calcification in the arteries by approximately 30%.
- Regulates blood flow and keeps blood pressure under control: It keeps your blood pressure under check by regulating your blood flow and preventing blood clots. The cocoa phenols present in dark chocolate helps in lowering cholesterol. It increases the level of a healthy compound called epicatechin in our body.
- Improves insulin sensitivity: Consuming90-100 gram of dark chocolate in around 10 days improves insulin sensitivity of the body. Insulin resistance particularly causes type 2-diabetes mellitus and coronary artery diseases. Dark chocolates decrease LDL(bad cholesterol) level in our body which thus prevents the occurrence of such diseases.
- Increases blood flow to the brain: Consumption of dark chocolate improves brain functioning. Higher the content of flavanols, better the blood flow in the brain. It thus has a relaxing and soothing effect on our mind.
As we grow old different forms of brain impairments are observed. Dark chocolate helps in diminishing these aging effects.
It aids verbal fluency and cognitive functioning of the brain in elderly people.
The stimulants like caffeine and theobromine present in dark chocolate improve brain functioning in the short run.
- Elevates skin condition: The bioactive compounds like flavanols present in dark chocolate augments hydration of the skin. It also helps in reducing the effects of sun exposure by increasing the amount of blood flow to the skin. Better blood circulation in the skin boosts its glow.
Consumption of dark chocolates 3-5 times a week for a few months raises the level of minimum erythemal dose (the minimum UVB light which causes redness of skin after sun exposure). Thus it not only reduces sun-induced damage but also improves the immunity of skin towards sun exposure.
So grab a bar of dark chocolate and gobble it up!