Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

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Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.0

Does the thought of indulging in a delicious bar of dark chocolate excite you? If so, you now have an excuse – or nine – to eat chocolate regularly. Please note that your dark chocolate should contain a high cocoa content (70-85%) for maximum nutritional value.

1. Anti-Aging: Flavanols in cocoa and dark chocolate may slow the signs of aging by hydrating the skin, increasing density, improving blood flow, and protecting the skin for sun damage. [1]

2. Manage Hypertension: Based on the findings of a placebo-controlled study, eating 25 grams of dark chocolate every day could lower blood pressure in hypertensive and diabetic patients. [2]

3. Nutritional Value: A 100-gram bar contains dietary fiber (11 grams), manganese (98% RDI), iron (67% RDI), magnesium (58% RDI), vitamin K, and vitamin A. [3]

4. Control Blood Sugar: Eating dark chocolate regularly could reduce insulin resistance and lower fasting glucose levels. [4]

5. Improve Blood Flow: According to a study in the Journal of Hypertension, flavonols in dark chocolate promote the production of nitric oxide, which induces vasodilation and improves blood flow to the heart and brain. [5]

6. Anti-Depressant Properties: Animals studies have demonstrated that some compounds in cocoa have anti-depressant properties. [6]

7. Heart Health: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that dark chocolate is a promising agent in preventing cardiovascular diseases. [7]

8. Antioxidant Properties: Dark chocolate is one of the most powerful antioxidants. [8] It’s rich in biologically active compounds such as catechins, flavanols, and polyphenols that function as powerful antioxidants.

9. Reduce Stress: Researchers affiliated to the Loma Linda University suggested that compounds in dark chocolate have positive effects on brain health and may reduce stress levels. [9]

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

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[1] Heinrich U. et al. 2006. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702322.

[2] Rostami, A. et al. 2015. High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves blood pressure in patients with diabetes and hypertension https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460349/.

[3] Candies, chocolate, dark, 70-85% cacao solids Nutrition Facts & Calories https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/10638/2.

[4] Dark chocolate (70% cacao) effects human gene expression: Cacao regulates cellular immune response, neural signaling, and sensory perception https://www.fasebj.org/doi/10.1096/fasebj.2018.32.1_supplement.755.1.

[5] Fisher ND. et al. 2003. Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14654748.

[6] Messaoudi M. et al. 2008. Antidepressant-like effects of a cocoa polyphenolic extract in Wistar-Unilever rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19000380.

[7] Hooper L. et al. 2012. Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22301923.

[8] Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products https://bmcchem.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1752-153X-5-5.

[9] New studies show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity and mood https://news.llu.edu/for-journalists/press-releases/new-studies-show-dark-chocolate-consumption-reduces-stress-and-inflammation-while-improving-memory-immunity-and-mood.

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Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Graphic ©herbs-info.com. Image source – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.0


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