Sweet Perks! Chow down on some chocolate, for your health!
Whether it be a late night craving or even that time of the month, chocolate always comes to the rescue! Ladies, you know what I mean!
While milk chocolate may not be the best for you in terms of health, good ol’ dark chocolate with a percentage of at least 70% cocoa is one of the most potent sources of antioxidants on the planet. Butter and sugar has to be added to dark chocolate to make it taste sweeter, but the darker the chocolate, the less additives.
So how do you avoid all these additives? It’s simple really, just make sure you stick to the 70-85% range to truly reap the incredible health benefits.
Dark chocolate is jam-packed with minerals that positively impact your health such as iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorous and selenium. It has been scientifically proven to lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.
You will never have to feel bad about those few blocks of dark chocolate again after learning just how good for you this rich and delicious treat is.
What Are The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate?
1. Improves Heart Health
Chowing down on dark chocolate can significantly lower your risk of heart disease due to flavonoids in the chocolate. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. Many
studies have shown that dark chocolate may have powerful blood-pressure lowering effects when combined with exercise, so get your dark chocolate munchies on before your next workout!
2. Disease Fighter and Anti-Aging Secret
Raw cocoa is probably one of the richest sources of antioxidants on the planet and most of us know how important antioxidants are to fight off the disease-causing free-radicals. Free radicals are also implicated in the aging process and due to the high concentration of skin-loving antioxidants in dark chocolate, it not only protects against a variety of cancer, but consistently tops the ‘best skin foods’ lists! Who would believe the secret to your gorgeous glow is chocolate!
Image source: Pinterest
3. Mood Booster
If you find yourself feeling blue or depressed often, then you might want to make dark chocolate part of your regular diet! Dark chocolate contains mood boosting chemicals, namely phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, which means that eating dark chocolate will have a positive impact on your mood and make you feel happier. These chemicals boost blood flow to the heart as well as the brain, therefore dark chocolate also improves cognitive function.
4. Diabetes Protection
Dark chocolate can prevent diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels. “Flavonoids increase nitric oxide production,” says lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., a professor at the University of L’Aquila in Italy. “And that helps control insulin sensitivity.”
5. Stress and Anxiety Reducer
You might want to ditch that tub of Ben and Jerry’s next time you go through a hard time and pick up a bar of good quality dark chocolate instead! A 2011 study conducted by Swiss scientists, performed on stressed and anxious individuals showed significantly lower levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) when they ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks. It seems chocolate can make everything better!
Do you remember when Forest Gump recalled, “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”” …well, if your box of chocolates are dark, sustainable, organic and fair trade then you’re definitely gonna get major health benefits including but not limited to the 5 mentioned here! Eat up!