Updated: Jun 11
Chocolate was very valuable for Mayans; it was used as money. Today, its value comes nutritionally. It is a delicious treat that has many health benefits. And the higher the cocoa concentration (70% or more), the more are the benefits. Here, you will find the health benefits of dark chocolate.
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1. Prevents Heart Disease
Eating dark chocolate can lower your risk of suffering cardiovascular disease. It is due to its contents of flavanols, which are a natural compound found in dark chocolate. Flavanols can stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which causes vasodilation (widening of blood vessels). That way, they help to lower your blood pressure.
2. Improves Brain Function
Dark chocolate improves the blood flow to the brain because of its ability to widen the blood vessels, which improves brain function. It also can help with stress since it stimulates areas of the brain related to pleasure. And finally, it can help with your cognitive process (the process to learn).
3. Reduces Inflammation
Dark chocolate has compounds that help with inflammation. In that sense, conditions like diabetes, cancer, and arthritis could be prevented. And all this is because when you have long-lasting inflammation, your cells get damaged, which is essentially what happens in these diseases.
4. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Dark chocolate can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin. That means that when you have a rush of glucose (sugar) in your blood, the insulin is going to act by removing it, lowering in that way your sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are under control, you reduce the risk of becoming a diabetic.
5. Prevents Cancer
Dark chocolate could prevent certain types of cancer because of its inflammation reduction ability. Dark chocolate protects the cells against free radicals, through its anti-oxidative effect. By doing so, fewer free radicals are out to attack your cells and damage them.
6. Increases HDL
HDL (High-density lipoprotein) is what doctors refer to as your “good cholesterol”. Certain compounds found in dark chocolate can increase your levels of HDL.
7. Helps Your Skin
Dark chocolate contains many vitamins and minerals. They are helpful for your skin. As people age,
the skin loses elasticity and wrinkles appear. Manganese is a mineral found in dark chocolate that helps in the production of collagen, which has to do with your skin elasticity. Another mineral is calcium, which helps in the repair and renewal of your skin.
Dark Chocolate comes with flavor and nutrition. Its health benefits are many. But remember that to get the most of it, the cocoa concentration must be 70% or higher. Also, try to avoid consuming over 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate daily, as higher amounts can make you gain weight. So, next time that you eat dark chocolate, enjoy it knowing how much it might benefit your health. As always, keep healthy and stay tuned for the next topic in this blog.
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