How Dark Chocolate Can Benefit You
Ah, chocolate. We seem to have a love-hate relationship with it. We LOVE the sweet, delicious taste. But we know that it comes at a heavy cost.
Most chocolate we consume is actually milk chocolate. Yes, it is delicious, but it is usually packed full of sugar and milk fat. It doesn't take much to overdo it calorie-wise.
However, dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation, can have many health benefits.
- High nutritional value
- High in antioxidants
- Improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
- Raises HDL and lowers LDL
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
- Protects skin against the sun
- Improves brain function
Kris explains that:
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others.
One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included blueberries and Acai berries.
There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild[..].
However, there is also one study in people with elevated blood pressure that showed no effect, so take all this with a grain of salt.
Read about all of the benefits in Kris's article here.
When choosing dark chocolate, always look for a minimum of 70% cacao. The higher the percentage, the better. Just remember, dark chocolate can be somewhat bitter. Pick a chocolate that you can enjoy and still reap the benefits.