Sometimes we benefit from foods that are typically labeled taboo. Chocolate is often a treat for dessert or a small snack between meals, but some may not realize the health benefits that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, has on overall health and well-being. Much like vegetables, when it comes to picking out the healthiest of chocolates, the darker the better.
While dark chocolate may not out-do milk chocolate in flavor to some taste buds, it out does out-do it in health benefits. Dark chocolate is known to have a somewhat bitter taste compared to milk chocolate, and this is because milk chocolate contains more sugar and carbohydrates than dark chocolate. While milk chocolate has 50 grams of carbs per every 100g, dark chocolate has only 8-35 grams, depending on how dark the chocolate is.
Most milk chocolates are 30% cocoa while its dark counterparts are more than 70%, according to fitday.com. Having higher amounts of cocoa is beneficial in several ways. According to webMD.com, eating dark chocolate two to three times a week may help lower blood pressure; this is because the dark chocolate improves blood flow which can aid in the prevention of blood clots and the hardening of arteries. This increase in blood flow is also good for the brain because it helps improve cognition.
Dark chocolate is a good option for diabetics, as well. It has a low glycemic index; therefore it will not cause large spikes in blood sugar levels after consumption. Dark chocolate also contains flavonoids, which help reduce insulin resistance, by helping cells function normally and regain their ability to efficiently use the body’s insulin.
Dark chocolate can also add pep to your step. There are small amounts of caffeine in the cocoa and it also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which promotes the release of endorphins making you feel happier.
Along with numerous health benefits most would not expect from a dessert type food, dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants, which can help fight cancer and the process of aging, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. These include potassium and copper, both known to help prevent stroke and other cardiovascular ailments, magnesium, which helps prevent type two diabetes and high blood pressure, and iron.
Making the switch from milk to dark chocolate is beneficial to your health but the key is still, everything in moderation. Dark chocolate does still contain fat and can interfere with one’s diet plan if consumed too frequently or in large quantities. Luckily for us, this kind of chocolate is more filling as a result of the nutrients it contains, which may help from over indulging in this tasty treat.