Who said all sweet foods are bad for you? With its heart health promoting, mood boosting, immunity supporting and brain health protecting properties, dark chocolate is certainly the exception!
If you love eating chocolate but you’re worried about spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels, just switch to its dark, low-sugar cousin – not only will you enjoy all the amazing health benefits dark chocolate offers, but you’ll experience what real, cocoa-rich chocolate tastes like.
Here are 7 science-backed reasons why you should eat more of this superfood.
1. Dark Chocolate is A Powerhouse of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate that has 70% of cocoa or more is highly abundant in various biologically active compounds that act as antioxidants in the body, including flavanols, catechins, polyphenols and other. In fact, some studies have shown that dark chocolate has more antioxidant activity than some of the healthiest fruits, including blueberries!
2. Dark Chocolate is Highly Nutritious
Chocolate that is very high in cocoa is loaded with nutrients, including various minerals and fiber. For example, your regular 70-85% cocoa chocolate contains magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium, potassium and phosphorus.
3. Dark Chocolate is Good For Your Heart
Because it’s so full of antioxidants, dark chocolate could very well be your heart’s favorite food. Flavonols found in chocolates with high cocoa content have a positive effect on heart health because they help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
4. Dark Chocolate Improves Your Cholesterol
If you have a problem with high LDL cholesterol levels (“bad” cholesterol) and low levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol), dark chocolate can help you. Studies have found that consuming dark chocolate can not only significantly lower LDL cholesterol, but increase HDL cholesterol as well.
5. Dark Chocolate Has Anticancer Properties
By consuming antioxidants like flavonols, our bodies produce enzymes that can fight mutagens and carcinogens. Coincidently, dark chocolate is supremely high in various antioxidants, including flavonols. Some in-vitro studies have even shown that various flavonoids found in cocoa can slow the growth of tumors.
6. Dark Chocolate Promotes Brain Health
Studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain, thereby promoting brain health. In fact, chocolate that is very high in cocoa has been found to improve cognitive function in elderly people.
7. Dark Chocolate Is Great for Your Skin
All those antioxidants and flavonols we talked about? They’re also great for your skin, as they can protect against sun-induced damage. Consuming dark chocolate also improves blood flow to the skin, which can increase collagen and elastin production and improve overall skin tone.