Dark chocolate is a form of chocolate containing cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, without the milk found in milk chocolate. Although dark chocolate has a reputation as a healthier alternative to other type of chocolate, such as milk chocolate, high-quality evidence for significant health benefits, such as on blood pressure has not been shown. It has been known for its good taste and proposed health effects for centuries. Dark chocolate the most commonly craved food in the world. It comes under the superfood category because of its high antioxidant content and the fact that it is extremely low in terms of sugar. Dark chocolate are made from the seeds of cocoa tree which is one of the best sources of antioxidant in the world.
It contains 50-90% cocoa solid whereas milk chocolate contains 10-50% cocoa solid. Lower quality chocolates may also contain butter fats, vegetable oils or artificial colors or flavors. Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanol that may help to protect the heart.
5 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Consumption
1. High in Nutrition
Dark chocolate with high cocoa content are actually quite nutritious. It contains soluble fibers and loaded with minerals. Dark chocolate is rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine. But the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee. It gives you monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated variety of fats.
2. Good Source of Antioxidants
Cocoa contains large amount of flavonoids, epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins. Cocoa contains large concentration of flavonoids, greater then even tea and wine. Dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants. Cocoa seeds are one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world.
3. Improve blood flow and lower the blood pressure
Flavanol, one of the antioxidants present in the dark chocolate, stimulates the endothelium, the lining of the arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which help to lower the blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statically significant decrease in blood pressure.
4. Reduce the risk of heart disease
Dark chocolate help to reduce the risk of heart disease. They are known to lower oxidative stress of bad cholesterol levels and boost the good cholesterol level in the body. Bad cholesterol are capable of damaging your arteries, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Another study showed that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times per week lowered the risk of heart disease by 55%.
5. Protect the skin from sun
Dark chocolate can protect the skin from sun. Dark chocolate contains flavanols which can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase density and hydration.