Dark chocolate has recently been discovered to have a number of healthy benefits. The various health benefits of dark chocolate includes, alleviation of cardiovascular disease, protection against heart disease, stroke prevention, alleviation of hypertension (high blood pressure), regulation of blood sugar and insulin dependence, reduced risk of type II diabetes, antioxidant protection, relieve from cold and cough, increased immune function, reduced cancer risk, slowing aging, slowing the progression of AIDS, DNA repair and protection, alzheimer’s protection, relieve from premenstrual syndrome.
1. For blood sugar
Dark chocolate keeps blood vessels healthy and circulation unimpaired to protect against type II diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate help in reducing insulin resistance by helping cells to function normally and regain the ability to use body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index which won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
2. For brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so that it can help to improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on the mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine that encourages brain to release endorphins and feel alert. Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, the caffeine content is much lesser than coffee and hence ingredients of chocolate are used in mood disorders.
3. For oral hygiene
Dark chocolate contains theobromine which lowers the risk of getting cavities in proper dental hygiene. Theobromine is a mild stimulant. Though it is not as strong as caffeine, however it helps to cure the cough by suppressing coughs.
4. As antioxidant
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help against free radicals. Radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect the body from various types of cancer and slow down the signs of aging.
5. As vitamins and minerals
Dark chocolate contains various natural vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can support your health. Dark chocolate contains proteins, saturated fat, calories, various vitamins like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, vitamin K, calcium, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, selenium, iron, potassium, copper and zinc. The copper and potassium present in dark chocolate help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular diseases. The iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type II diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
6. In magnesium deficiency
Magnesium contained in cocoa has been shown to prevent and correct chronic magnesium deficiency. Low intakes of magnesium may be responsible for some cardiovascular alterations as well as renal, GI, neurological and muscular disorders. The use of cocoa to treat or prevent magnesium deficiency in humans has not been explored
7. For cardiovascular disease
Research suggests that the chocolate, cocoa and flavanols are used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Consumption of foods rich in flavanols are also associated with improved cardiovascular outcome. Dark chocolate may reduce the risk of atherosclerososis by thickening and hardening of the arteries and by restoring flexibility of the arteries and preventing white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls.
8. For cardiometabolic disorder
In general the cardiometabolic disorders exert a burden on people. However, these are largely preventable. By systematic review and meta-analysis the cocoa products containing flavonol have a potential to prevent cardiometabolic disorders.
9. For endothelial and vascular function
A small amount of dark chocolate eaten daily for 18 weeks decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a few mm Hg. Recent evidence suggests daily intake of at least 100 g of dark chocolate will associate in reductions in blood pressure.