Most of us love chocolate, but it certainly doesn’t have a reputation of being a healthy food. Fortunately, when eaten in moderation, high cocoa dark chocolate can help the body ward off a number of serious health conditions and illnesses. Try eating a few portions each week in order to enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Good for the heart
Dark chocolate has been shown to be good for the heart by lowering blood pressure. The benefits are best felt when eaten in small portions, 2 or 3 times a week. Dark chocolate promotes healthy blood flow which reduces the risk of blood clots forming, and could also reduce the risk of arterioscleroses.
High levels of antioxidants
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants which help reduce the risk of developing cancer by neutralising free radicals, and slowing down the onset of ageing by limiting their cell damage.
Good for the brain
By promoting healthy blood flow, dark chocolate helps to improve the blood supply to the brain. This can help you to become more efficient at processing thought and improve your cognitive function. Some of the chemicals found in dark chocolate have been shown to improve mental health and lift the mood, such as phenylethylamine, which encourages the brain’s release of endorphins.
Enjoying a few squares of dark chocolate before spending time in the sun has been shown to improve your skin’s ability to protect itself from UVA and UVB rays. Research has shown that the flavonoids found in dark chocolate work to absorb UV light, as well as increasing blood flow to the skin and maintaining a healthy level of hydration.
Promotes healthier teeth
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, a substance which has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel. It also contains anticaries, which work to protect the mouth against infection. A square of dark chocolate after a meal can work as a great palette cleanser and help to clear your mouth of bacteria.
High levels of vitamins and minerals
Many of the health benefits of dark chocolate stem from the surprisingly high levels of vitamins and minerals which it contains. These include:
Potassium- strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps to prevent strokes
Copper and iron- help with the production of red blood cells and prevent the onset of anaemia
Magnesium- prevents heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Image sourced: Lee McCoytagsdark chocolatehealthy foodsnatural treatmentsorganic food