Chocolate is the world’s favorite sweet indulgence. In fact, the average person will consume about 12 pounds of chocolate each year. Chocolate is often considered a treat or a dessert, but did you know that chocolate actually provides great health benefits too?
Some of this has to do with the amount of lecithin in chocolate. Chocolate truly brings together the best of both worlds: a yummy treat that is also good for you in moderation.
Checkout 8 Awesome Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate:
Let’s take a look at some of the ways chocolate can actually help you stay healthy.
Not All Chocolate Is Created Equal
It is important to remember that not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate is actually the only form of chocolate that can really benefit your health.
The reason for this is that dark chocolate does not have tons of added sugar. In fact, the darker the chocolate the less sugar is added. So, if you want to really reap the health benefits, always choose dark chocolate.
Within our bodies are chemicals and compounds referred to as free radicals. These chemicals and compounds are created by cellular processes. You can think of them as waste products that are created as our body processes toxins and other invaders. These free radicals can have a negative impact on our health over time.
To fight free radicals, you need antioxidants present in your body. Antioxidants are compounds that kill off the free radicals and keep your body clean. Dark chocolate is a wonderful source of antioxidants. A regular dose of dark chocolate will help keep free radicals down in your body.
2. Cancer Prevention
Cancer research scientists have a growing body of research that supports the existence of cancer-fighting properties in dark chocolate. This is due to the presence of antioxidants and flavonoids found in the chocolate. Tests have shown that these compounds successfully reduce the number of colon cancer cells in rats.
3. Heart Health
The flavonoids found in dark chocolate are primarily of the type called flavonols. These compounds have a powerful effect on heart health, including blood pressure reduction and improving blood flow to the heart. Some tests also show that flavanols can also improve blood flow to the brain as well, which could improve cognitive function.
4. Improves Cholesterol
Cholesterol levels can have a significant impact on heart health and overall well-being. The cocoa butter that is found in chocolate contains healthy fats and polyphenols. These both work together to improve the lipid profile of the body. This means that it can help to decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Cholesterol profiles can affect how well the heart can pump blood throughout the body. High cholesterol levels can greatly increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
5. Improved Cognitive Function
Dark chocolate has a powerful impact on how blood can move through the body. This includes increasing blood flow to the brain. When the brain does not have sufficient blood flow, it will start to impact cognitive function. This can include memory, task management, time management, mood, and more.
Improving blood flow to the brain is one of the best ways to improve cognitive function. Doctors have tested Alzheimer’s patients who were given flavonoid-rich foods to see if the increase in these compounds in the diet could improve cognitive function factors.
Positive results have been recorded in these tests. Because dark chocolate is considered a flavonoid-rich food, it can be added to a flavonoid-rich diet to help with cognitive function.
6. Blood Pressure
Blood pressure issues can be a huge contributor to the risk of heart disease. There are medications that can be used to control blood pressure problems, but there are also natural ways to help blood pressure as well. Adding dark chocolate to your diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels.
However, you should note that if you are being treated for blood pressure issues under a doctor’s care, you should follow all instructions from your doctor. Talk with your doctor about natural ways to improve blood pressure.
7. Improves Vision
Vitamins and nutrients found in dark chocolate have also been shown to help improve vision. Although natural methods of vision improvement, such as diet modifications, cannot cure all vision problems, it is good to know which food products you can add to your diet to boost vision.
8. Improves Skin
The rich flavanol content of dark chocolate may also be able to improve your skin. When flavanols are rich in the body, they can help to protect your skin from sun damage. Sun damage is a leading cause of skin cancer. Flavanol can also help to improve skin smoothness as well.
Some Final Considerations
If you decide to start adding more dark chocolate to your diet, be sure to remember that dark chocolate should be added in moderation. You should choose chocolate that has very little added sugar. The darker the better.
The many health benefits of dark chocolate can be primarily attributed to a large amount of flavonoid content. If you are interested in more health benefits, you can research other flavonoid rich foods. Adding these foods into your diet can increase these health benefits.
It is important to note that you should always consult your doctor concerning current treatments and not make sudden changes to your treatments without consulting your doctor.