Chocolate is healthy, but it should be dark…!!
Young or adult, who doesn’t like to gobble up a bar of dark chocolate? The satisfying rich taste of cocoa with the tinge of bitterness is a mouthwatering delight! Apart from the irresistible taste, dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa provides several health benefits ranging from glowing skin to cancer protection. Isn’t it great to feast on such tasty medicine?
Chocolate has always been criticized for its fat content and its consumption had been considered unhealthy. But the good news is, science approves chocolate of its numerous health benefits, providing you with sure shot liberty to grab some more for your sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is known to be generally low in calories as compared to the milk chocolate. It should be noted that dark chocolate is beneficial for health, but milk chocolate and white chocolate are not.
Flavanols are the healthiest ingredient in the dark chocolate. Most of the chocolates are high in fat and sugar and should be consumed in less amount because it blocks the antioxidant effect of chocolate. Dark chocolate over white chocolate can help you have a small portion due to its strong flavor and increases the intake of flavanols that are beneficial for health.
Consumption of dark chocolate can prevent certain chronic diseases. Dark chocolate contains many compounds such as saturated fat, polyphenols, and caffeine and its product have also been shown to have antioxidant properties that have beneficial effects on various health problems.
1. Blood pressure
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which are known to provide various health benefits. Flavonoids are present in many healthy foods, but dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of flavonoids. Dark chocolate which is a flavanol-rich product is an alternative treatment option for hypertension. Dark chocolate has blood pressure-lowering properties due to its high content on plant-derived flavonols.
Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide which promotes vasodilation and consequently lowers the blood pressure. Multiple studies have been conducted to know the relationship between blood pressure and dark chocolate and researchers found out that dark chocolate is an effective treatment option for high blood pressure and to maintain healthy blood pressure.
Benefits of consumption of dark chocolate have been indicated by many studies and it is due to polyphenols that give to its antioxidant capacity. The antioxidant capacity is beneficial in delaying the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and reduce plasma concentration.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is important for the normal functioning of the human body but when the level of cholesterol becomes high, it leads to the development of the symptoms of other health problems. Cholesterol is important for the formation of bile acids which allow an individual to digest fat. Cholesterol is transported through the blood by lipoproteins and there are two types of lipoproteins- low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein. Low-density lipoprotein is also known as bad cholesterol and too much low-density lipoprotein increases the risk of heart disease. Whereas, high-density lipoprotein is also known as good cholesterol and high level of high-density lipoprotein decreases the risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate is beneficial in maintaining the correct level of cholesterol in the body. It increases the level of high-density lipoprotein in the body and decreases the low-density lipoprotein level.
3. Blood glucose
Recently numerous studies have stated that foods that are rich in dietary flavonoids have been targeted as potential dietary adjuncts in the management of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disorder in which the blood sugar level in the body becomes too high, either due to the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin or an inability of the body to use the produced insulin efficiently.
Also Read: 5 Simple Tips To Control Blood Pressure
Cocoa flavanols improve blood glucose control by modulating lipid digestion and reducing hyperlipidemia and its subsequent effects of glucose homeostasis. Dark chocolate may also improve insulin resistance by improving endothelial function and reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the main cause of diabetes. Consumption of white or milk chocolate significantly increases the blood sugar level of the body but the consumption of dark chocolate is beneficial for health.
4. Mental Health
Almost all of us are familiar with the beneficial effects of dark chocolate on the mood. Numerous studies have suggested that the consumption of dark chocolate also has a positive effect on cognitive and behavioral function. Dark chocolate is considered to be a remedy to reduce the symptoms of psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Nowadays, depression and anxiety are the common mental problem throughout the world and many people consider dark chocolate as a remedy to improve their symptoms.
Also, oxidative stress is one of the most important risk factors that contribute to the development of psychological problem as well as other health problems. Dark chocolate is beneficial in reducing the oxidative stress and results in decreased risk of mental problem.
5. Arterial function
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the world. Numerous studies have conducted to investigate the relationship between the dark chocolate and arterial function and they found out that there is a positive relationship between the two. Consumption of dark chocolate can help you keep the arteries safe and healthy. It reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is one of the most common cardiovascular diseases which affects a large number of people. Cocoa which is the most important ingredient of dark chocolate contains substances that are beneficial for the entire heart health. It improves the stiffness of the arteries.
6. Cancer Prevention
It may be hard to believe but dark chocolate plays a major role in cancer prevention. It has cancer-protective properties. It prevents serious condition by preventing DNA change, lower inflammation, and also inhibit cell proliferation. Some human trials have also indicated that it reduces the activation of molecules that are known to be involved in the progression of cancer.
7. Nourishes Skin
Among the countless derivatives of cocoa beans, dark chocolate is one of them. It tastes bitter and not more popular among people but it is packed with potent antioxidants and contain various nutrients that will help you stay healthy and beautiful. It shields your skin effectively against the UV rays and also helps in preventing conditions like a sunburn as well as skin cancer. It gives you a smooth and problem-free complexion. It makes an excellent skin-detoxifier when combined with caffeine.
8. Improves Vision
Dark chocolate has the ability to improve blood flow. It boosts the vision. Rich in cacao, it also has antioxidants that retard and partially reverse degenerative changes in various diseases. It protects eyesight.
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