Most people have a sweet tooth which is not necessarily a bad thing, considering the health benefits of dark chocolate. Chocolate, in general, has always been on the receiving end of criticism from nutritionists, alongside other sugary snacks and treats. This is mainly because kids and some adults prefer the delicious cocoa butter, sugar, milk and flavored white variety of chocolate to its darker version.
Dark chocolate contains a mass of ground cacao beans, together with other flavorings, that provides your body with nutrients that are responsible for the dark chocolate health benefits. Despite its sugar and cocoa butter content which raises its calorie levels, you can still consume dark chocolate. However, it is recommended that you purchase high quality dark chocolate and eat moderate amounts.
Cacao beans that are used in making dark chocolate contain a number of potent antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits have been cited for their innumerable contributions to the health of the human body. They help combat free radicals that have the potential to wreck havoc in your body. Some health benefits of dark chocolate as compiled from different research findings include:
Cacao beans used in making dark chocolate contain the antioxidant compound flavanol. Flavanols have been effective in preventing cell damage due to free radicals. Cell damage is often linked to many cardiovascular disorders including heart attacks. They also help in lowering blood pressure and improving vascular functions in the body.
High blood pressure is a well known trigger of heart attacks and strokes. It is however advisable not to substitute other preventive methods with dark chocolate, since research on flavanols are still in progress. Nonetheless, a quick nibble of this snack is good for your heart.
Stress has been linked to many unpleasant conditions in the body. It is a medical risk factor which people try to resolve using different means, positive and negative. Instead of smoking a cigarette to reduce stress, nibble a bar of dark chocolate instead. The caffeine and theobromine in dark varieties of chocolate stimulate endorphin release in the body and reduces stress levels.
Eating dark chocolate can reduce your appetite. Therefore, it is ideal for those seeking to shed a few pounds. Bear in mind that it contains a few calories and may prove counterproductive to your weight loss program, if taken in excess. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, people who consumed dark chocolate were less inclined to eat after the activity than those who had milk chocolate. Dark chocolate’s bitter taste and high cocoa butter content contribute to your stomach staying full for a longer period of time.
Dark chocolate drinks have also been linked to faster post exercise healing and repair of muscle tissue. Compounds in such beverages enable your muscles to recover faster than high carbohydrate drinks that are commonly taken in gyms.
Dark chocolate has been a luxurious treat for centuries. Perhaps, it has managed to survive for so long due to its inherent nutritious benefits.
Author Byline: This is an article written by Haliyma Barrow, a professional article writer living in New York. Haliyma holds a Master of Public Administration from NYU. Haliyma loves to learn about good nutrition, and tries to maintain healthy weight with her daily routines.