Dark Chocolate Health Benefits: Nutrition With Taste
Everyone loves to eat chocolate, but the choice of chocolate would determine whether it is good or bad for health.
Dark chocolates are one of the most refined chocolates with fully packed nutritional values and health benefits.
Dark chocolates are primarily made with cocoa tree seeds without or significantly fewer additional supplements. The higher cocoa content in the chocolate makes it a beneficial food to consume regularly.
Dark chocolates offer several proven health benefits to their consumers, hence, this article will discuss most of the benefits of consuming dark chocolates.
- 1 Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
- 2 Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?
- 3 Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?
- 4 Is Dark Chocolate Healthy?
- 5 How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat A Day?
- 6 Does Dark Chocolate Have Caffeine?
- 7 Conclusion
Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Rich In Nutrients
Dark chocolates could be the best food to meet the essential nutrition needs of the body. Generally, dark chocolates have higher cocoa content than other chocolate forms.
If you consume 100 grams of dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa content, you may get high fibers, copper, and manganese concentration.
Not to miss, it is also one of the iron rich foods, that is recommended by the nutritionists as well.
Additionally, you may get other elements like potassium, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus to fulfill your nutritional needs.
Moreover, dark chocolates are a low-calorie food; hence, a 100-gram bar may offer approximately 250 calories and minimal sugar.
Help To Lose Weight
You may consider dark chocolate in your weight loss diet to significantly reduce fat due to the presence of polyphenols. It could also help you in staying satiated for longer hours.
Dark chocolate with higher cocoa content may offer lower calories that may initiate weight loss through various mechanisms.
It may improve insulin sensitivity which could help lower the insulin level in the blood and cells, hence, reduced sugar levels may promote weight loss and lower fat storage.
Moreover, dark chocolate may help by reducing the hunger and appetite of an individual.
Good Source Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight against free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Hence, reduced free radicals minimize the damage to cells and tissues that may delay the aging process or prevent early aging.
Dark chocolates are a great source of biologically active organic compounds with antioxidant properties. Cocoa present in dark chocolate is highly rich in polyphenols, catechins, and flavonols that show antioxidant properties.
Several surveys and tests have proven that cocoa and dark chocolates may have the highest antioxidant content among the fruits tested.
Improves Brain Function
Dark chocolates with higher cocoa content may help to improve brain function. The flavonols present in cocoa may increase the blood flow to the brain resulting in better functioning.
Moreover, dark chocolates may improve cognitive function in older people and prevent several brain disorders. Additionally, stimulants like caffeine in dark chocolates may enhance concentration.
Creates Microbiome Diversity In Gut
Intestinal or gut microbes play a significant role in easing the digestion process. Hence, it is essential to keep these microbes in optimum number and active to keep the mechanism smooth.
Consuming dark chocolates may help improve the microbiome diversity in the gut. According to a study, dark chocolates may help restructure the diversity and enhance the number of intestinal bacteria.
Hence, it acts as a prebiotic diet that promotes intestinal microbial growth.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Dark chocolates could be a helpful natural remedy to treat blood pressure problems.
The flavonols found in dark chocolates may initiate nitric oxide production by stimulating arterial walls or endothelium. Nitric oxide plays a significant role in lowering blood pressure.
The compound signals the arteries to relax and lower the resistance for smooth passage of blood. But, the effects of dark chocolate in reducing blood pressure may vary among people.
Moreover, some reviews suggest that the benefits of dark chocolate would be evident in older people in comparison to young and healthy individuals.
Balances Cholesterol Level
Generally, the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol in the body reacts to the free radicals, which convert into oxidized LDL.
These oxidized bad cholesterols are highly harmful to the body and may cause certain heart diseases.
Dark chocolate contains several organic compounds like polyphenols, theobromine, etc. that may reduce the LDL cholesterol concentration in the body.
Additionally, dark chocolates may improve the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol concentration to protect from several chronic health conditions.
Protect And Nourish Skin
Dark chocolate consumption may be a natural sunscreen for you as it prevents sunburn and scars. The bioactive compounds like flavonols in dark chocolates may help keep the skin healthy.
Moreover, these compounds may increase the blood flow to the skin and prevent dehydration. The essential minerals like zinc, copper, and iron in dark chocolate may promote cell growth and nourish skin to keep it glowing.
Additionally, dark chocolate may reduce pigmentation and dark spots to keep the skin clear and smooth.
Good For Heart
Dark chocolate contains several bioactive compounds that prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation.
The decrease in oxidation prevents the narrowing of arteries that may cause severe heart conditions. Moreover, the lower concentration of LDL cholesterol in the body helps lower the risk of heart diseases.
Dark chocolates could be highly beneficial for older people prone to heart attacks and other heart conditions.
May Show Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Inflammation is a natural response to harmful germs or microbes attacking the body. But, sometimes chronic inflammation may affect the cells and tissues, increasing the risk of several health conditions like type-2 diabetes.
Dark chocolates may naturally reduce inflammation as they contain several antioxidants like flavonols and polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties.
Hence, consuming dark chocolates may help prevent the chances of developing chronic diseases.
Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?
Dark chocolates are one the best forms of chocolates with higher nutritional content. The cocoa content in the chocolate could determine the quality and benefits of dark chocolate.
It is believed that dark chocolates with higher cocoa content may offer higher health benefits. Hence, you may say that dark chocolate is good to eat.
Dark chocolates are highly rich in sugar and fat, hence, they may cause harm to people who have diabetes. Moreover, as dark chocolates are high in calories, regular consumption may affect weight loss.
But, dark chocolates with 70-100% cocoa content may have less sugar and aid in losing weight. Hence, controlled consumption of dark chocolates would be good for an individual’s health.
Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?
It would be tough to answer the above questions as you know it’s tough to make chocolates without milk.
But, many companies produce vegan-friendly chocolate bars and sell them at local stores. How do they do so, or how could dark chocolate be vegan?
Generally, all forms contain a common plant-based ingredient, i.e., cocoa. The cocoa seeds are plucked and crushed into powder or paste.
But it isn’t easy to make chocolates without adding other non-vegan products like milk. Hence, vegan dark chocolates are rare in the market.
Dark chocolates could be vegan-friendly as manufacturers may use plant-based milk to prepare these chocolates. On the other hand, dark chocolates with 55-100% could be considered vegan friendly.
In short, higher the concentration of cocoa, possibly the dark chocolate would be vegan.
Is Dark Chocolate Healthy?
Dark chocolate is a superfood with numerous health benefits. Moreover, the sweet and bitter bars contain multiple nutrients and minerals essential for different metabolic activities in the body.
But, all dark chocolates may not be healthy to consume. It is said that dark chocolates with moderate cocoa content and minimum processing might be good for health.
Dark chocolates with lesser cocoa content and added sugars may badly affect health and promote weight gain.
Hence, anyone consuming dark chocolate should consider dark chocolates with higher cocoa concentration for healthy benefits.
How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat A Day?
Anything in excess may show adverse effects on health. Dark chocolates are one of the best foods to consume to protect us from several health conditions.
But, consuming these chocolate bars in excess may lead to multiple side effects or disorders. Hence, it is essential to consume dark chocolate in a prescribed or limited quantity to avail of the benefits.
According to the experts, consuming 1-2 ounces or 30-60 grams of dark chocolate daily would be considered safe. You may intake additional calories if you consume more than the prescribed dose.
But, you may eat up to 100 grams per day if the cocoa content in the dark chocolate is approximately 75-100%, as they contain lesser calories.
Does Dark Chocolate Have Caffeine?
The making of chocolate involves multiple steps, including shell removal, fermentation, drying, and liquefaction. After liquefying the cocoa beans, the liquid contains cocoa solids and butter.
These obtained cocoa forms are used to make different forms of chocolate in different compositions. Several tests have found that cocoa solids are highly rich in caffeine, while cocoa butter doesn’t contain caffeine.
Dark chocolates are primarily made with cocoa solids, hence, the caffeine content is higher in dark chocolates. Moreover, caffeine content could also be determined by seeing the darkness of the chocolate.
Hence, the answer is yes dark chocolate bars have higher caffeine content.
Dark chocolates with higher cocoa content may benefit you in multiple health conditions, especially heart issues.
But, it should be consumed in limited quantities to avoid overconsumption of calories and sugar. Hence, eat dark chocolates in a prescribed amount to get all the benefits mentioned above.