None of us require solid reasons and persuasion for eating the sinfully tempting dark chocolates, but many of us control our craving because of the fear of gaining weight.
But think twice before cutting it out completely from the diet because by doing so you are also depriving yourself of its numerous health benefitting aspects as well.
It is an antioxidant rich food that revokes cell damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Consumed in controlled quantities, it also helps in losing weight by improving metabolism and fat burn.
Nutrients Present In Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a rich source of a number of minerals such as potassium, iron, copper and magnesium along with traces of vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E and D.
Potassium: It helps in maintaining overall cardio-vascular health, lowering blood sugar, improving bone health and increasing muscular strength.
Copper: It helps in improving the functions of the immune system, stimulating brain functions, improving hemoglobin and red blood cell production and increasing energy production.
Magnesium: It helps in relieving stress related headaches, migraines, elevating the mood and reducing depression and treating insomnia.
Iron: It functions as the effective oxygen carrier to the entire body, helps in hemoglobin formation, and improves muscle and brain functions.
Rare Known Benefits Of Dark Chocolate For Health
Forget the guilt and grab a bar of delicious dark chocolate because it turns out that the cocoa and antioxidants present in dark chocolates acts as a natural healer for all chronic diseases.
Great Source of Antioxidants
One of the most important aspects of dark chocolate is that it is a powerful source of health benefitting antioxidants. The cocoa present in dark chocolate is loaded with polyphenols, flavanols and catechins that revoke the damage caused to cells by oxidative stress and free radicals.
It protects the body against various types of cancers and slows the aging process by preventing cells and tissue damage.
Cocoa slows down the release of stress hormones and prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin that prevents the appearance of the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
Controls Blood Pressure
The flavanols present in cocoa and dark chocolate helps in reducing high blood pressure and maintaining it at a healthy level.
Flavanols stimulate the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) by the lining of the arteries that helps in relaxing the arteries and improving elasticity of the blood vessels which in turn improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure. In addition, it also reduces the inflammation of the blood vessels.
Protects the Heart
Dark chocolate helps in maintaining overall cardio-vascular health and reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases. The cocoa butter present in dark chocolate is a rich source of heart-friendly stearic acid that is converted into healthy monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid.
Oleic acid has been shown to lower the level of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood while importing the level of HDL “good” cholesterol.
The antioxidants and flavanols present in dark chocolate reduces the inflammation and damage of blood vessels and improves elasticity of the vessels and arterial walls that lowers blood pressure and relieves the stress of the heart muscles.
Improves Brain Functions
Dark chocolate helps in improving brain power as well. The cocoa flavanols present in dark chocolate improves blood flow to the key areas of the brain and promotes short-term cognitive functions in both children and elderly people.
Caffeine and theobromine present in dark chocolate also enhance awareness, concentration and memory.
The cocoa flavanols also help in enhancing the mood, fighting fatigue, treating sleep deprivations, insomnia and cognitive imparities related to age.
Increasing the intake of dark chocolate on a regular basis has been shown to decrease the level of oxidized LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase the level of HDL “good” cholesterol in the blood.
The powerful antioxidants and flavanols present in dark chocolate prevent the LDL cholesterol from reacting with the free radicals which would otherwise damage tissues and arterial linings of the heart.
Helps Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, a well-planned diet is the most important thing, but there are certain cheat foods that can help in controlling craving and mindless binging that helps you to stick to your weight loss diet.
Dark chocolate is one such super food for weight loss that is a rich source of fibers and proteins that slows down the breakdown of foods in the intestine and keeps you feeling fuller for longer and prevents the craving for salt and sweet snacks.
It is loaded with healthy MUFA (Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acid) that boosts metabolism and induces calorie burning.
A well planned diabetic diet is the most important factor for controlling diabetes but when it comes to prevention, dark chocolate acts as a super food which reduces insulin resistance and increases the capacity of the body to respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas that helps in lowering high blood glucose.
Dark chocolate has a low glycemic index that prevents any sudden spike in blood sugar that is extremely harmful to patients suffering from diabetes. It also prevents the damage and inflammation of blood vessels- one of the major side effects related to diabetes.
Another amazing reason to munch on yummy dark chocolate is that it helps in improving overall skin health. Daily consumption of dark chocolates act as a natural remedy for suntan and sunburn and protect the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
The cocoa present in dark chocolate reduces excessive skin dryness and hydrates skin by preventing moisture loss. Cocoa improves blood circulation through the capillaries of the skin that promotes better oxygen and nutrient supply to the skin cells and tissues thereby making it soft, supple and healthy.
So, now that you know the health benefits of dark chocolate include this delicious food in your daily diet and prevent the risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, raised cholesterol and weight gain.