More often than not, we here at seem to concern ourselves with telling you all the reasons why you should avoid your favorite foods, telling people why their go to snacks are secretly unhealthy isn’t often met with a warm reception. And honestly, we get it. Nobody wants to be told. A whore even reminded that what they enjoy eating is actually bad for their health. Today, however, we thought we’d flip the script and give you some reasons why something typically referred to as junk food might be slightly healthier than people give it credit for. Specifically, we’d like to share with you some of the potential health benefits you can expect from eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate.
1.Rich in Nutrients
Now we’re not saying that you should start chowing down on dark chocolate for every meal. Everything in moderation after all. That being said, high quality dark chocolate comes packed with a surprising amount of nutritional value thanks to its high cocoa content in a single 100 grams serving of quality dark chocolate. You can expect to find 11 grams of soluble fiber, as well as more than half of your recommended daily intake for iron, magnesium and manganese. To a lesser extent, dark chocolate is also a viable source of other nutrients such as potassium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc.
Finally, dark chocolate is also a fairly excellent source of fatty acids, primarily consisting of saturated and mono unsaturated fats. Of course, as we previously mentioned, dark chocolate is still far from being considered a superfood and 100 grams is a pretty huge serving when you consider that calories and sugar intake are still something to be mindful of as well. To make sure you’re getting the most out of the chocolate you’re eating. Make sure it’s at least somewhere between 70 to 85 percent cocoa in its composition.
2. High in Antioxidants
The activity and quantity of beneficial antioxidants in food is measured by the oxygen, radical absorbent capacity or oh, our AC scale. The absorbent capacity of foods is tested by food researchers observing the effects of free radicals against a sample of these foods in order to see how effectively the antioxidants in the food repel and absorb these free radicals. As it turns out, dark chocolate is an abundant source of antioxidants, giving it a relatively high ranking. On this particular scale, these antioxidants include organic compounds such as polyphenols, flavored oils and catacombs.
3. May Help Improve Blood Pressure
In addition to protecting your body’s cells from oxidative stress brought about by free radicals, the flavor in all content of dark chocolate is also effective when it comes to stimulating the linings of your body’s arteries, also known as the endothelial.
When stimulated in this way, the endothelial produces nitric oxide, which among other things, performs an important function within your body by causing your arteries to relax, thus lowering blood pressure by lowering the resistance to blood flow. According to a number of studies, such as one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cocoa and dark chocolate have been shown to be highly effective when it comes to reducing blood pressure and improving the quality of blood flow.
4. May Help Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is typically sorted into two varieties HDL and LDL cholesterol often referred to as good and bad cholesterol respectively. There is also oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol, which has also reacted with free radicals, according to a controlled research study. It was observed that cocoa powder was able to significantly decreased levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol in male individuals, while also increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol. In another study, dark chocolate may also help to lower your body’s resistance to the hormone insulin, which can potentially lessen your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. But more on that in our next point.
5. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
By lowering and protecting your body against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by free radicals. Dark chocolate may help to prevent buildup levels of the cholesterol from blocking your arteries, which in turn can help in order to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
One study into the effects of nutrition and heart disease used 470 elderly male participants. The result was that the addition of cocoa to these men’s diets over a period of 15 years was found to reduce the risk of heart disease related death by an incredibly huge margin of 50 percent. Another study yielded even more positive results with results indicating that eating dark chocolate more than five times per week decrease the overall risk of heart disease by a whopping 57 percent. These are observational studies, however. So, these findings can’t be considered entirely conclusive.
6. May Protect Against Sunburn
The benefits of dark chocolate aren’t only relegated to the inside of your body. Turns out your external organs can benefit from cocoa as well. Specifically, we’re talking about your skin. Research has made the claim that the flavor and all content of dark chocolate can benefit your skin in a variety of ways, such as improving blood flow to the skin, increasing skin density, allowing for better skin hydration and yes, even protecting your skin against damage from the sun. This is believed to be because the compounds found within dark chocolate increase the threshold for your minimal aero thermal dose or MDD, which is the minimum amount of UVB rays that are required to cause your skin to turn red 24 hours after exposure.
If you’re planning on having lots of fun in the sun this summer, snacking on a bit of dark chocolate might not be a bad idea.
7. May Help Your Brain
In addition to everything else we’ve already mentioned, it’s been theorized that dark chocolate may also play a role in improving overall brain function in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. A study was published which seemed to indicate that cocoa with a high flavored oil content was able to facilitate improved blood flow to the brain, with results appearing after as little as five days. Similar studies have also indicated that moderate amounts of cocoa may also help to improve cognitive function verbal fluency and decrease the risk of diseases which affect your brain as well. You see, it’s not all doom and gloom here at best, after all. While dark chocolate might not be something you should be eating all day, every day, sensible amounts of this quote unquote junk food may be able to bring about some unexpected benefits to your health. Did you find this post helpful or informative? We’re always interested in hearing feedback from the people who read our post. So, if you have anything to contribute. Be sure to scroll down to the comments section below and help us keep the conversation going.