Home | Articles | Benefits of Dark Chocolate

By Ms.Srilatha
Dietician
Published on 24/12/2022

Overview

Chocolate is one of the highly treasured foods for both children and adults. Chocolate offers that delicious taste to your taste buds no matter how you eat it: as a candy bar, in a hot drink, or poured over ice cream.

Dark chocolate, also known as black chocolate, contains antioxidants and important micronutrients. Chocolate is made from cocoa, a plant that is rich in antioxidants and minerals. Sugar, milk, cocoa butter, and small amounts of cocoa are the main ingredients of commercial milk chocolate. Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains considerably more cocoa and less sugar. Let’s understand the benefits of dark chocolate!


Is dark chocolate healthy?

Dark chocolate stands out from the crowd. Dark chocolate production differs slightly from the others. The ingredients used are the same as in other varieties of chocolates namely cocoa liquor, milk powder, and sugar, but the quantities may differ.

Many ingredients in milk and dark chocolate such as sugar, cocoa butter, and cocoa solids are similar. However, the percentage of cocoa solids differs between the two types.

Proven Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The great nutritional value and potential health benefits of dark chocolate have been demonstrated by a number of research-based studies.

For the benefit of the body and the mind, all foods should be seen in a positive light. However, building or strengthening a good relationship with dark chocolate in particular may significantly improve overall health.

Antioxidants are abundant in dark chocolate. One of the most useful flavonols is epicatechin. Chemicals called flavonols, which are derived from plants, lessen inflammation and protect cells from oxidative damage. The dark chocolate benefits include:

Increases heart health

Dark chocolate's antioxidants have been proven to lower blood pressure, lessen the risk of clotting, and boost blood circulation to the heart, lowering the chances of coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart related disease.

Balances the immune system

Flavonols keep the immune system from overreacting and minimize oxidative stroke, an imbalance generated by cells fighting free radicals and a prevalent cause of many diseases.

Combats diabetes

Epicatechin helps the body use insulin more effectively by strengthening and protecting cells, which may help treat or prevent diabetes.

Improves brain function

Flavonols, which are found in dark chocolate, enhance memory, reaction time, and visual-spatial awareness in the brain. Though research is still underway, one explanation that has been floated is that flavonoids increase blood flow to the brain.

Boosts athletic performance

The epicatechin found in dark chocolate stimulates the formation of nitric oxide in the blood, which improves circulation and reduces the quantity of oxygen used by athletes during moderately strenuous activity.

Reduces stress

Individuals who consumed dark chocolate reported feeling less worried, and researchers found that the stress hormone cortisol was lower after eating dark chocolate. This could be related to the heart health benefits of dark chocolate, as stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

With its health-promoting compounds and vitamins, dark chocolate should be included in the diet if it isn't already (it is important to note that this chocolate contains caffeine, which some people may be sensitive to).

Facts on dark chocolate health benefits

  • The more cocoa in the chocolate, the more healthful flavonoids are present. Many effects are associated with chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa.
  • Researchers suggest that dark chocolate occasionally has a definitive effect on a healthy mood without side effects and has good health benefits.
  • Always check the nutritional facts label to learn how many calories, fat, and sugar are in a product. As these chocolates have loads of sugar, fat, saturated fats and also have small amounts of cholesterol as they are milk based products.
  • In some people, chocolate can trigger acid reflux or migraines.

Finally, indulging in a chocolate treat on occasion should not be burdened with concern or guilt, whether it is an antioxidant-rich black chocolate (dark chocolate) or white chocolate, which has minimal nutritional value. There are numerous healthy ways to add chocolate to your diet; choose what works best for you.

Chocolate is one of our favorite and most go-to comfort foods. Loving dark chocolate has several benefits, so let's enjoy it in a better way!