Besides the fact that dark chocolate is absolutely delicious, consuming dark chocolate also has many health benefits as well. Cocoa beans (it’s main ingredient) are high in flavanols and antioxidants, which help to fight against many diseases and help prevent them in the first place.
Another primary reason why dark chocolate is so nutritious is because of its cocoa content, which is much higher in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate. Dark chocolate typically contains anywhere from 30% to 70% cocoa and many extra dark varieties are often much higher than this, ranging all the way up to 90% dark.
Several studies seem to indicate that the flavanols in dark chocolate can help keep cholesterol from forming in your blood vessels and improve your body’s ability to pump blood throughout your body as well. A study reported in “The Journal of the American Medical Association” in August 2003 indicated that dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure, dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure in those with hypertension and may reduce your risk for diabetes as well, due to the fact that it regulates insulin levels as well. Dark chocolate also contains many stimulants, including theobromine and caffeine in small amounts.
Fat and Calories
Despite the fact that dark chocolate may be nutritious, it should still be eaten in a practical manner. Ever hear the saying, moderation is key? Well when it comes to dark chocolate this is no different. I’m not saying that dark chocolate is bad for you, but consuming too much of it could be a bad thing due to the fact that it contains decent amounts of sugar. All you really need to reap the benefits of dark chocolate consumption is a small serving each day anyway.
A typical serving of dark chocolate can contain around 180 calories and 25 grams of sugar. There is typically about 2 grams of protein as well as 10-15 grams of fat, but the type of fat in dark chocolate is not harmful at all – the main thing you need to be concerned about is the sugar content. Keep in mind though that the higher the cocoa of the dark chocolate you are eating, the lower the amount of sugar and the healthier it is for you, so I would always strive to go with the extra dark chocolate about 70% cocoa.
Dark chocolate is high in oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid, all of which have no negative implications on the risk factors for heart disease and actually contain several benefits. Oleic acid is the same type of fat found in olive oil and as you probably already know, olive oil is incredibly beneficial for your health. Palmitic acid is a healthy saturated fat that has a positive effect on your cholesterol levels, raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). As for stearic acid, this is another saturated fat and does not have any negative implications on your cholesterol levels at all and is very beneficial for your health as well.
I hope this article gives you a better understanding about the health benefits of dark chocolate and why it should be included in your diet. If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for the best foods to improve your health and you want them to taste good as well – dark chocolate definitely fits in this category.