Chocolate is one of the most controversial products on earth. Some consider it an enemy in the fight against obesity and a destroyer of teeth… others consider chocolate as a health booster. So who is really right? Does chocolate do more harm or good? Are there any health benefits of dark chocolate?
The answer to this question lays in the type of chocolate people consume, since not all chocolate is created equal. Usually when people talk about the benefits of chocolate, they consider dark chocolate which is made from cocoa powder, cocoa butter and a small amount of sugar, whereas milk chocolate is made of dry milk or cream, white sugar and a tiny amount of cocoa powder. So, when people say “health benefits of chocolate”, they are talking about dark chocolate (with a minimum sugar and a maximum cocoa content) . Many believe that chocolate is one of the main causes of tooth decay. They are right if you keep milk chocolate in mind, or any other chocolate candies which have more sugar and powdered milk than cocoa. Tooth decay is caused by sugar but not cocoa.
Did you know that …Moderate consumption of dark chocolate with a minimum sugar content on the contrary protects your teeth.
The presence of cocoa determines the beneficial properties of dark chocolate.
Truth About Chocolate: Things You Should Know
- Scientists have discovered that dark chocolate has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system due to the presence of flavonoids – natural antioxidants, which the human body cannot synthesize on its own. The darker the color, the more flavonoids are present in the chocolate. Besides, it is considered that these antioxidants are able to slow down the aging process. Moderate, regular consumption of dark chocolate strengthens blood vessels, improves their performance and prevents blood clots. Antioxidants in chocolate can protect blood vessels from atherosclerosis, prevents heart attacks, stroke and normalizes blood pressure. Biologically active substances and useful flavonoids contained in dark chocolate prevent the coagulation of blood cells – platelets. Therefore, reducing the likelihood of blood clots in blood vessels.
- Dark chocolate contains theobromine. Theobromine can lower blood pressure due to its ability to dilate blood vessels. Theobromine is similar to caffeine but unlike caffeine it has no effect on the central nervous system. Theobromine contained in dark chocolate can be used as cough medicine. Recent studies have showed that theobromine is one the most effective natural cough suppressants.
- Dark chocolate is rich in tannins. They possess antimicrobial qualities, preventing the formation of plaque on teeth.
- Dark chocolate is also rich in phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus is required for the proper brain functioning. Calcium is needed for the formation of bones. Magnesium can instantly improve mood, filling life with optimism and energy. It has fast and beneficial effect on nerve cells, relieving symptoms of stress and depression.
- Dark chocolate contains stearic acid, which purify vessels. Stearic acid is the main saturated fat in cocoa butter. The research has shown that it has a neutral effect on cholesterol.
- Dark chocolate with high cocoa powder content is beneficial for diabetics due to its ability to lower insulin resistance.
- Dark chocolate can protect your skin. German researchers have shown that flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb ultraviolet light and increase blood flow to the skin, improving your skin color and texture.
- Dark chocolate reduces stress. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol which leads to more insulin secretion and, thus, to overeating.
- Dark chocolate helps suppress your appetite. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen discovered that dark chocolate helped increase the feeling of being full.
So eat your dark chocolate with high cocoa content and low sugar level… it is healthy and good for you. I hope you are as happy as I am that health benefits of dark chocolate are real!