|Not only a sweet treat, chocolates are like little love potions that can put most people under a spell. The rich brown liquid, blessed with the goodness of cocoa, finds its way into milk shakes, desserts, chocolate bars and ice creams. Some are obviously better for us than others so its important to remember while dark chocolate has some benefits the frequency we consume them matters!
Dietitians and BDA spokespersons, say it’s important to remember the studies on the health benefits of chocolate have focused on cocoa extracts, not chocolate.
Dark chocolate has recently been discovered to have a number of healthy benefits. While eating dark chocolate can lead to the health benefits described below, remember that chocolate is also high in fat and also has a risk of causing cavities if the frequency is high enough during the day.
1) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Heart
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
2) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.
Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
3) Dark Chocolate Helps Control Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.