Although maintaining a balanced diet is crucial, occasional treats are still acceptable. Of course, it’s best if you can pick a tasty snack that’s also beneficial to your health. You might find the solution you’re looking for in dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is widely regarded as being the most delectable variety of chocolate by connoisseurs. Dark chocolate not only tastes better, but it also has several positive health effects.
Let’s first learn what dark chocolate is in order to better understand its potential health advantages.
What is dark chocolate?
The most important thing you need to know about dark chocolate is that dark chocolate is not made with milk, as opposed to milk and white chocolate. The majority of dark chocolate brands may have between 70 and 85% cocoa solids because they don’t contain any milk.
According to UK law, dark chocolate that has at least 35% and at least 18% cocoa solids qualifies as good chocolate. Quite high cocoa content chocolate bars might have a bitter aftertaste and aren’t for everyone; nevertheless, bars with a cocoa content of roughly 70% are very well-liked.
Then, what are the effects of these cocoa percentages?
Generally speaking, the health advantages increase with the cocoa proportion. It’s important to keep in mind though that not all dark chocolate retains its healthful qualities. This is because the production process, which includes cleaning, fermenting, roasting, and alkalinizing, as well as the addition of additives like sugar and emulsifiers, may strip the chocolate of its advantageous plant chemicals.
Now let’s explore further the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Health benefits of dark chocolate
1. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Want to snack on something good for your heart? Dark chocolate is the answer!
Several studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for your heart. In 2007, for example, researchers showed that it increased the diameter of coronary arteries, improving blood flow.
2. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Dark chocolate may help to reduce your chances of experiencing this. A 2012 study found that participants eating 50 grams of dark chocolate for 15 days had lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol.
3. Provides a Powerful Antioxidant
Dark chocolate rivals many other so-called “superfoods” in its antioxidant content. A 2010 study reported that cocoa powder and dark chocolate had the same amount or even greater amounts than various fruit powders and fruit products tested, and was a “significantly more concentrated source” than fruit juices.
4. Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Most sweet and even salty snacks spike blood sugar levels, but this is where dark chocolate is different. It doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as other sweet snacks. It has a glycemic index of only 23, which puts it in the “low glycemic index” category.
5. Protects Your Brain as You Age
Dark chocolate has a high level of unique flavanols, a precise phytonutrient that are a type of flavanoid, that no other food can match. These flavonoids can help to aid blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function.