How do you like to spend your leisure time? I am sure you love watching movies or just relax on the couch with headphones on. Your best friend in such days will be your favorite chocolate and there is nothing better you can binge on. How about the times when you were sad and a bar of chocolate made you happy and cheerful again? However, consuming too much chocolate is not good for your body. At least that is what you must have been hearing till now. It is good news for you now. Just replace your regular chocolate with some yummy dark chocolate and it is going to be a healthy replacement of the snack that is a part of your diet.
Dark chocolate is the type which comes minus the extra milk solids. It has more of that rich, chocolaty taste than your regular chocolate because of the lack of those extra milk condiments. However, the lack of milk makes it a little dry and chalky in texture and the aftertaste is quite bitter. The main ingredients that make up your chocolate bar are cacao beans, an emulsifier, and sugar. Also known bittersweet chocolate, the level of sweetness ranges from very dark and bitter to sweet dark ones.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
By now you already know that dark chocolate is the healthier replacement to your regular milk chocolate as it consists of several health benefits. Let us go through some of the most common health benefits of dark chocolate.
1. Makes your Heart Healthier
Dark chocolate consists of cocoa flavonoids which are known to improve heart health. Binging on a specific amount of dark chocolate can reduce the danger of heart problems to an extent. Dark chocolate reduces plaque deposition in the arteries and reduces the level of cholesterol. It further helps in maintaining the levels of good cholesterol.
2. Anti-cancer Properties
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and is said to be helpful in extending cancer protection to the body. It enhances the power to reduce damage to cells. It has to neutralize properties that can regulate the production pace of cancer cells and the inflammation that follows such condition. Dark chocolate consumption over a period of time can prove to be highly beneficial in the prevention of colon cancer.
3. Controls Diabetes
You must be knowing already that dark chocolate is highly beneficial in controlling diabetes. The flavonoids present in diabetes are insulin sensitive and therefore enhances proper glucose balance in the body. Dark chocolate cannot be a remedy to diabetes that has already affected you although you can keep the sugar levels in control to an extent. Reports claim that people who eat bittersweet chocolate are at a lesser risk than people who do not consume it when it comes to diabetes.
4. Brain Function
Dark chocolate is highly beneficial for better functioning of the brain. The flavanol content in dark chocolates helps in blood circulation to some of the most important blood vessels in your brain. This leads to an improvement in concentration, alertness, and activeness in day-to-day activities. This chocolate also improves memory power and helps in making you sharper as well as prevent the aging of your brain.
5. Controls Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure for quite some time now, try the dark chocolate remedy. Dark chocolate contains magnesium which helps to bring down high blood pressure. Consumption of bitter chocolate also modifies the level of nitric oxide in the body which in turn controls all the blood pressure levels completely.
6. Helps in Weight Loss
Dark Chocolates are a major part of any modern diet plan. Dieticians recommend measured amounts of dark chocolates as a healthy snack for people trying to lose weight. Consumption of dark chocolates curb your hunger and also keeps you full for a comparatively longer time. As a result, you will not have the urge to binge on snacks which are unhealthy and can, in turn, increase your weight. Dark chocolates contain MUFAs which are monosaturated fatty acids which helps in enhancing metabolism rate that can burn fat in the body.
7. Good for Cold and Cough
Bitter chocolates that are lower on sweetness contain beneficial ingredients such as catechins, theobromine, polyphenols, and flavanols. These can act as cough suppressants and as per experts, dark chocolates can be more useful than certain cough syrups that you get at the pharmacist.
8. Cholesterol Control
Dark chocolate contains a property which can enhance lipid profile in the body and also regulates platelet reactivity. It also has major cholesterol controlling benefits in it.
9. Protects the Nerves
The flavanol content in dark chocolates improves the cerebral flow of blood. This prevents aging memory and brain diseases that are connected to the nerves, for example, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Dark chocolate can protect the neurons present in the nervous system.
10. Strengthens Vision
The cocoa content and advanced flavonoids increase the blood flow to the blood vessels that are in contact with your eyes. This means nutrients are properly transmitted to the blood reaching the eyes making your vision better. It is universally known that dark chocolate is much better than white chocolate when it comes to your visual acuteness.
11. Lowers Stokes
Consumption of dark chocolates rich in flavonoids can reduce the risk of heart-stokes. It is however still under research as to what type of dark chocolate and in what quantity it is to be consumed. You can eat small to moderate amounts of bitter chocolate every day to keep yourself comparatively safer from heart stokes.
12. Healthier Skin
Dark chocolate can restrict free radicals from affecting your skin. It also helps in improved blood circulation thus making your skin healthier and more glowing. The elements present in dark chocolate can improve skin hydration too.
This is the list of the major benefits of dark chocolate that can help you lead a healthier and better life without sacrificing your sweet tooth. Now you know that diets and a healthy lifestyle do not always mean sacrificing your favorite stuff.