Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Written by on March 18, 2014 in Chocolate Information with 1 Comment

Health Benefits of Dark ChocolateDark chocolate is healthy for you. A nice surprise actually. The health benefits of dark chocolate are numerous and even rival those of the super-foods like blueberries and Acai berries. So let us waste no more time. Here is why dark chocolate is healthy for you.

 

Cocoa Beans and Flavonoids

All chocolate is made from cocoa beans. The beans themselves are dried, roasted and ground up to a fine powder. This powder is what is gives anything chocolate it’s flavor. The more of the cocoa powder used as an ingredient, the darker the chocolate.

Cocoa beans contain an amazing amount of flavonoids. These are the great health benefit. You can basically translate the word flavonoids into anti-oxidants. It’s anti-oxidants that improve our health and prevent health problems.

 

Dark Chocolate for a Reason

Certainly, all cocoa beans contain these anti-oxidants. But dark chocolate contains much more than milk chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa powder in the recipe.

When confectioners make their delicious concoctions, they add in many other ingredients. Cocoa powder has a bitter taste to most human palates. When a recipe for making chocolate goodies is created, other ingredients, like sugar and cream, need to be added to get a better taste.

First, the amount of beneficial cocoa powder is diluted or reduced. Second, not-so-good ingredients get added in. So, the darker the chocolate you can eat, the more benefits from the cocoa powder you get.

 

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

So what are the health benefits? Many, many researchers are doing studies. What they have discovered so far are these:

  • improves blood flow
  • improves insulin resistance
  • lowers blood pressure
  • raises good HDL cholesterol
  • lowers bad LDL cholesterol
  • lower overall risk for cardiovascular disease
  • improves skin condition and hydrates the skin
  • protection of brain cells
  • improves cognitive functions
  • boosts brain serotonin and endorphin levels

Besides high levels of anti-oxidants, cocoa also has high levels of anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.

 

How Much Dark Chocolate

We have all seen dark chocolate on the store shelves. Some have percentages boldly listed on their labels. So what does this mean? This percentage is a ratio for you work with. The higher the number, the more cocoa powder in the recipe mix. But, that also means the less of more paletable flavors to eat.

As a rule of thumb, go with at least 70% chocolates. But try higher levels as well. I was shocked to discover that I actually liked 85%, but couldn’t handle the taste any higher. Do the test for yourself and see how much of a percentage you can handle.

Enjoying an ounce about 3 times a week will provide you some good health benefits. One ounce per day is even better and will give you the full health benefits of dark chocolate at it’s best.

 
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  1. Cynthia says:

    Awesome information! I also appreciate you helping me to justify my chocolate addition 🙂

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