Most people consider chocolate a treat, meant only to be consumed occasionally due to its high concentration of sugar levels and high cholesterol.
However, what if you knew that chocolate could also help boost your immune system and cognitive ability? Well, dark chocolate, to be precise, has been found to have copious amounts of antioxidants and nutrients.
And so, what is the difference, you ask? The answer lies in the way in which it is produced.
While commercial chocolate or milk chocolate comprises a mixture of sugar, milk, butter and cocoa powder. On the other hand, dark chocolate is made by adding sugar and fat to the cocoa product without the use of milk. In other words, it is a healthy alternative through which one can protect the body while hanging on to your sweet tooth.
Dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure
The darker the chocolate, the higher its content of flavonoids is, says a study published in the Lancet report. These compounds help reduce blood pressure in the body while also protecting us against heart-related diseases.
In fact, it is estimated that dark chocolate could hold as many flavonoids as regular tea does, according to health experts.
If consumed in the right amount, dark chocolate can increase nitric oxide, naturally present in your body, which helps relax your blood circulation. This is done through increasing the opening of the arteries within the body while maintaining a steady blood flow.
Dark chocolate increases cognitive function
Yes, you heard it right folks. As we have mentioned above, dark chocolate helps increase blood circulation in the body, this is also true for the brain. Studies have found a correlation between positive effects on our mood and increased cognitive health of the brain.
So, whenever we are in a bad mood, it might be helpful to eat some amounts of chocolate in order that we feel happier.
This is due to the natural compound known as phenylethylamine (PEA), which acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system in our brain, being present in dark chocolate. So, eating copious amounts of dark chocolate releases serotonin and PEA, which leads to a more positive state of mind and lowers depression.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of vitamins and minerals
Dark chocolate, among many other things, contains a large variety of Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, B2 and B9. Including saturated fats, protein, magnesium, iron and potassium, to name a few.
The vitamins present in dark chocolate are helpful for increasing blood circulation, improving one’s eyesight and building up energy.
No wonder the Incas regarded it as the ‘food of the gods.’
It has also been shown that potassium found in dark chocolate is one of the highest among several food items studied by medical experts. This means that it is both beneficial for your kidneys as it prevents dangerous substances from harming it and alp helps reduce strokes.
Dark chocolate leads to healthy skin tissue
Dark chocolate is a rich antioxidant food source that helps protect the body against free radicals, known to cause ageing and other illnesses. It is among the most reliable sources of maintaining a healthy skin appearance all year round.
This is all the more important as one ages. So now you have got the perfect excuse not to give up on eating chocolate even in your old age!
Manganese is found in dark chocolate and helps produce collagen, a substance known for forming connective tissue and assisting in blood circulation. The flavonoids also present in it protect us from cell-damaging threats such as cancer, particularly the skin.
Dark chocolate is an overall reliable source of nourishment for the skin, making it appear younger while retaining its elasticity and increasing its skin cells.
So, what was the trick here? Well, dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate is high in magnesium, which can help you fall asleep. Also, it is high in fiber which means that it can help you feel full and avoid consuming unnecessary calories. And if that's not enough, some studies have shown that dark chocolate may also reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.