Dark Chocolate: A Healthy Treat

Most of us love chocolates. The sinful tempting fare with its rich creamy consistency and mouthwatering taste makes us long for more. There are three types of chocolates namely white, milk and dark chocolates. However, in the past chocolates was strictly taboo considering their health concerns. Yet, according to recent research, dark chocolate taken in moderation, offers incredible benefits for health, owing to their high antioxidants levels.

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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolates (Image source: sxc.hu)

Nutritive Components in Dark Chocolates

Dark chocolates consist of vitamins A, B1, C, D, E, including minerals like Magnesium, Copper, calcium, Potassium and Iron. They also contain polyphenols antioxidant substances by way of procyanidins and epicatechins that are five times more when compared to an apple, averting various ailments.


Dark Chocolate Benefits for Health

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids compounds that enact the role of antioxidants.  Flavonoids protect cells from harmful free radicals, one of the precursors of critical ailments.


Supports Cardiac Health

The antioxidants in dark chocolate promote cardiac health by lowering blood pressure levels, thus averting the risk of stroke.  Due to their anticoagulant properties, they stimulate smooth flow of blood in arteries and the veins reducing the risk of blood clots.  Unlike other saturated fats, Stearic acid, a saturated fat that exists in dark chocolate does not boost cholesterol levels.  Furthermore, the presence of a monounsaturated fatty acid, in dark chocolate helps reduce cholesterol levels largely.  The flavonoids present in dark chocolate helps stabilise blood sugar levels by helping the body utilise insulin with increase in production of nitric oxide and controlling insulin sensitivity.


Improves Cognitive Function

According to Research, regular intake of dark chocolate is associated with improved cognitive function in the elderly, owing to the high flavonol substances that regulate blood flow to the crucial parts of the brain.


Helps Enhance Mood

Dark Chocolate, containing a crucial substance known as phenylethylamine (PEA), helps boost mood by improving the levels of endorphins in the brain.  The serotonin chemicals in the brain decreases stress hormones, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Combats Cancer Cells

Dark Chocolate, consisting of high amounts of antioxidant substances, offer cell protection, by deactivating certain proteins in the body.  This factor helps inhibit the growth and division of cancer cells in the body, protecting from cell damage.


Augments Digestive Health

With sufficient amounts of fibre, dark chocolate provides a feeling of satiety promoting digestion and regulating the bowels.


Enables Weight Loss

Since dark chocolates provide a feeling of fullness, they prevent frequent cravings for unhealthy snacking.  Therefore, having a hot cup of cocoa or including a minimal amount of dark chocolate in the diet helps reduce appetite and enables weight loss.


Anti Ageing Properties

The antioxidants present in dark chocolate offer anti ageing benefits by safeguarding the skin from formation of fine lines and wrinkles.  It improves the elasticity of skin and helps cell rejuvenation.



However, while choosing dark chocolates it is imperative to choose chocolates with dark hues as dark pigment indicates high antioxidant levels and benefits.  Choose chocolates made of cocoa butter, and avoid those with coconut, palm oils, ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ oils as they have a tendency to raise cholesterol levels.  Since dark chocolates contain loads of calories and fat, only a small quantity of dark chocolate is recommended for consumption.

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