Dark chocolate isn’t exactly topping the list of health foods but it sure packs a nice cocktail of health benefits. So if you want to include it into your daily calorie intake or just make it a regular treat you can feel totally guilt-free.
The higher the cocoa content, the less sugar, the more the benefits – Dark chocolate mantra
Good For Heart
There is a great body of research that studies how consumption of dark chocolate affects those with heart disease and the findings are great in all kinds of ways. The dark chocolate is good for the heart and can reduce the risk of stroke and heart failure but also disease. It is also good for blood circulation and blood thinning, which helps prevent or lower the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.
Food For Brain
When it comes to dark chocolate effects on brain there are even more reasons to make dark chocolate your daily diet supplement. Firstly it significantly reduces the risk of stroke as suggested by a number of studies and it might also help protect brain for injury, according to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore study of ischemic stroke and epicatechin (EC), a cocoa flavanol.
Further health benefits of dark chocolate have to do with reducing pressure, blood pressure that is. A piece of polyphenol-rich chocolate consumed on a daily basis by individuals with hypertension showed to reduce both systolic and diastolic (top and bottom reading respectively) pressure without accompanied by changes (eg. body weight). And lowered blood pressure is associated with lower risk of stroke and coronary disease.
Since chocolate is a sort of a comfort food it’s no wonder it does great against stress and chronic fatigue by giving individuals a serotonin boost alongside other health benefits that may also alleviate the symptoms.
Finally, a small study from London’s Kingston University showed that dark chocolate may increase your anaerobic abilities. In a study two groups of cyclists were given 40 g of dark and white chocolate respectively with their fitness and oxygen measured prior to a two-week experiment. The researchers then switched the groups’ chocolate type for another two weeks and saw that the dark chocolate group performed better while on a dark chocolate supplementation. Their oxygen consumption decreased and they covered more distance in a two-minute trial. Even though the performance results weren’t as significant recreational athletes could use a small safe boost from supplementing their diet with dark chocolate.
There are contradictions in studies about flavanol benefits but there are sure proven benefits of dark chocolate in general. Full of antioxidants and micronutrients like polyphenols, minerals like iron and manganese and fiber dark chocolate makes for a really healthy treat.