Are you a chocolate lover? Asking this would surely be a formality, as the chocolates have been the favorite eatable for not only the children but for people of every age. Step out in the market, and you would be able to avail a variety of chocolates to select from. However, it is widely observed that elders would limit the intake of chocolates for both the children and the youngsters. People have a myth that chocolates are harmful for consumption, which is true to some extent also. But, this is not true. There are chocolates that are healthy for your body.
The solution for your craving to have chocolate can be fulfilled by having dark chocolate, which comes with various health benefits. It carries various nutrients in it, which are omitted in other chocolates. Hence, dark chocolate is a tasty treat with nutritional benefits. It is a smart way to satisfy your desire, without harming your health.
Nutrients Filled in Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate comes with various good nutrients, along with some bad ones too. The dark chocolate is mainly made from cocoa beans, and hence, it contains nutrients like flavanols, oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, calories, sugar, proteins, saturated fats, and many more. The antioxidants present in the dark chocolate are helpful for the protection of your body cells and organs. The flavonoids help the heart from diseases and lower the blood pressure levels.
No doubt dark chocolate carries several health benefits, it is still advised to consume it in a limited quantity. The reason for this is that it is rich in calories and sugar, which may hinder your slim look, or give you some extra kilos also. It is also a fact that the dark chocolates come in several brands, which limit the sugar and calorie content, and hence, look at the calorie content before you purchase any of the dark chocolates.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
As dark chocolate is a combination of various nutrients, it is surely beneficial to human health in various ways. The limited intake of the dark chocolate in various forms would give you the following health benefits.
1. Protects From Disorders Leading To Free Radicals
Dark chocolate has the ability to fight against free radicals, which are the unbalanced compounds. The cellular process of the body gives growth to the unbalanced compounds. It also protects the cells, which help in the protection of damaged environment toxins. The antioxidants in the dark chocolate come along with minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and phytochemicals, which are helpful in reducing the free radicals.
2. For Improving The Blood Flow And Lowering The Blood Pressure
The dark chocolate includes flavanols, which are helpful in encouraging endothelium for the production of Nitric Oxide. The increase in the production of Nitric Oxide helps in sending signals to the arteries, which lower the hindrance to the blood flow, as well as, helps in the reduction of the blood pressure. Hence, having dark chocolate would improve the flow of blood in your arteries and decrease the blood pressure.
3. Helps In Increasing The HDL And Protects The LDL From Oxidation
Having dark chocolate in a limited amount would cut off several risk factors leading to heart attack. It decreases the oxidized LDL level of cholesterol found in men. It also helps in increasing the HDL in men, with preeminent cholesterol. The oxidized LDL is the bad cholesterol, which reacts along with the free radicals. This activates the LDL particles and protects from the damage of other tissues. They contain powerful antioxidants in bulk, which make the bloodstream function properly and protect the lipoproteins from the oxidative damages.
4. Protects From Cardiovascular Diseases
The elements in dark chocolate strongly protect against the oxidation of LDL. On a long-term basis, it causes less cholesterol deposition in the arteries, which also reduces the chances of heart disorders. Also, having nearly 2 chocolates in a week would lower the risk of facing calcified plaque, occurring in the arteries. It improves the flow of blood in your arteries and reduces the chances of developing blood clots, preventing from the development of arteriosclerosis.
5. Good For Your Brain
Just as dark chocolate improves the flow of blood in your heart, it also carries the same function in the brain. In this way, it improves the cognitive function, reducing the chances of strokes. Dark chocolate carries various chemical complexes, which play a great role in making up your mood and cognitive health. It contains PEA, which is a similar element produced by the brain when you feel like you are in love. PEA boosts your brain to produce endorphins, and hence, having a bar of chocolate when you are out of your mood, would make you happy.
6. Controls The Blood Sugar Levels
Dark chocolate is very useful in having control over your blood vessels by keeping it healthy. It also parallelly controls your circulation, which helps in protecting your body against type 2 Diabetes. Dark chocolates are filled with flavonoids, which reduce the insulin conflict by aiding the cells of your body to function normally. This in return allows your body to recoup the efficiency of your body’s insulin. Dark chocolate comes with a lower amount of glycemic index, and hence, it wouldn’t allow the occurrence of small or big spikes in the levels of the blood sugar.
7. It Gifts You With Theobromine
Dark chocolate contains a good amount of theobromine, which is helpful in hardening the tooth enamel. Hence, it is proved that as compared to other chocolates and sweets, dark chocolate comes with a reduced fortuitous of developing cavities, keeping your dental health to the top. Theobromine is also a mild intoxicant, which helps with overwhelming cough problems.
8. A Package Of Vitamins And Minerals
Dark chocolate is a complete package of Vitamins and Minerals, which are great supporters of your health. It serves you with Potassium, Copper, Iron, and Magnesium, which play their own role in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disorders, strokes, anemia, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.
9. Reduces The Chances Of Developing Cancer
This benefit might shock you, but it is a fact, that dark chocolate also prevents your body from developing cancer. The flavonoids present in dark chocolate play an important role in the prevention of cancer. The antioxidant in the dark chocolate is equally important in reducing the chances of having cancer, with a pleasurable ingestion experience.
Henceforth, dark chocolate serves as a tasty ingredient beneficial for dealing with various health problems.
Precautions To Be Taken While Consuming Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate can be consumed in several ways. It can be taken in pieces, just as you have other chocolates, or can be used as an ingredient in making many mouthwatering desserts, or recipes. However, there just as there are benefits of having dark chocolates, the excess intake of the same is also harmful, as it contains caffeine in it. The side effects of caffeine are increasing in urination, nervousness, sleeplessness, increase heartbeat, etc. In this way, the side effects of having dark chocolate are as below:
- Skin reactions
- Acne and other allergic reactions
- Colic (in infants)
- Dental problems
- A decrease in bone density
- Increase in cholesterol levels
- Increase in insulin levels
- Irregular heartbeats
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Kidney damages and diseases
- A migraine
- Neck pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increase in weight
- Swelling in the skin
- Stomach upset or rumbling
- Nervousness and much more.
Nevertheless, these side effects are minor, but still, they can be avoided by having a limited amount of dark chocolate. Also, the women enjoying their pregnancy, breastfeeding or trying to conceive should limit their intake of dark chocolate. A moderate amount is safe and healthy in pregnancy.
Also, the people who are allergic to dairy products should go through the label and research well before they consume dark chocolates to avoid any kind of allergic reactions. Another allergic ingredient in dark chocolate is the soy lecithin, which is used as a creaming agent. The soy lecithin contains some portion of the soy protein, which also carries allergic elements for some users. So, if you are allergic to soy protein, think once and look at the list of ingredients of the dark chocolate you select.
Interesting Facts About Dark Chocolate
- Merely the smell of dark chocolate increases the brain waves, which helps in relaxation.
- For making 450 grams of dark chocolate, you require approximately 400 cocoa beans.
- The inventor of the Chocolate chip cookie sold his idea to Nestle Tollhouse and demanded the supply of dark chocolate on a lifetime basis.
- Limited consumption of dark chocolate on a daily basis reduces the problem of heart disease by one-third percentage.
- Dark chocolates are harmful to dogs, leading to illness or even death.
- Dark chocolate carries anti-bacterial elements, which protect the tooth from decay.
- Nutella was introduced during the second world war when an Italian pastry maker used hazelnuts with dark chocolate to increase the supply of his cocoa seeds.
- Nearly 100 pounds of dark chocolate are consumed by the people in the U.S. every second.
- Dark chocolate is more effective for a cough as compared to codeine.
- Brussels International Airport is the world’s largest selling points for Dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is, thus, an appealing ingredient, which is neither low in calories, or low in fats. It is, hence, important to have it in a limited quantity to enjoy the flavor with any kind of harsh effects on your body. So, think twice is dark chocolate is good for you before you begin with it.