· By Jason Katz
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Dark chocolate: what was once considered a sweet treat is now considered one of the top-ranking superfoods. Chocolate dates back to 2000 BC when the first chocolate connoisseurs drank it as a beverage. Long after, chocolate was revolutionized after the invention of chocolate bars in the 1800s.
Dark chocolate is derived from cocoa beans which are separated from cocoa nibs. The nibs are later ground into chocolate liquid. The liquid, after separating it from cocoa butter, is then refined into chocolate bars. So, why is dark chocolate healthy?
According to hsph.harvard.edu, dark chocolate contains high amounts of flavanols. Flavanols, which are plant chemicals derived from the cocoa beans, have been linked to protecting the heart from cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, cocoa is also rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and zinc. It’s no wonder numerous doctors urge individuals to make dark chocolate a part of their everyday diet and nutrition.
Below are a few of the dark chocolate health benefits that everyone, be it health enthusiasts or chocolate lovers, should know
Protection Against Free Radicals
Dark chocolate is loaded with radical fighting antioxidants. Antioxidants such as vitamins and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and polyphenols are highly effective in combating free-radicals. According to Jilian Levy, Senior Writer at Dr Axe, free- radicals are highly reactive molecules that speed up the ageing process. They also damage the immune system, compromising its ability to protect us from diseases.
Protection From Cardiovascular Diseases
Flavanols have an incredible impact on heart health. Flavanols, according to research, has been found to increase the clotting ability of blood platelets. This, in turn, helps reduce the chances of getting a stroke.
Flavanols not only increase blood flow but help lower blood pressure. This is because the flavanol compound decreases and limits the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). This means that it prevents bad cholesterol from building up around the artery walls and clog blood flow.
May Prevent Cancer
Cancer is among the leading causes of death, not only in America but across the globe. However, dark chocolate has been linked to cancer prevention. Hence the reason many refer to dark chocolate as a cancer-fighting food. Incorporating into your everyday diet and nutrition could help shift your life towards healthy living.
The cancer-fighting properties of dark chocolate are tied to flavonoids. Flavonoids, which help combat free- radicals, evidence that they contain protective properties against cancer development. However, studies are still being conducted.
Improve Cognitive Function
Numerous research points to the fact that dark chocolate helps improve cognitive function considerably. The properties found in this chocolate increase gamma frequency in an area within the brain known as the cerebral cortical. Cerebral cortical is responsible for memory.
Thanks to a compound found in dark chocolate known as epicatechin, brain damage is reduced significantly. Moreover, it has been found to decrease mental impairment through increased blood flow to the brain.
So, again, what makes dark chocolate healthy? Dark chocolate is able to give numerous health benefits to those that consume it because of its properties. It is high in antioxidants such as flavanols. Moreover, it is also very high in nutrients.
There are many ways of incorporating it into your everyday diet and nutrition. Some add pieces of the chocolate to their fruit salad or smoothies, or by replacing milk chocolate in desserts with its healthier counterpart.
Another great way to indulge in the nutritional benefits of dark chocolate is by ordering Popcorn for the People’s Dark Chocolate Espresso gourmet popcorn.