For many, chocolate is a forbidden product: it is considered a companion of excess weight, acne, tooth decay, and diabetes. Do not believe it! Numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate has exceptional health benefits. How dark chocolate relieves stress, what flavonoids are – all this is in our material.
Reasons to Love Dark Chocolate
1. Dark Chocolate has been associated with health benefits for centuries
The Incas called the drink made from cocoa beans – “drink of the gods.” This led to the scientific name theobroma cacao, derived from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink). The Aztec emperor Montezuma argued that cocoa “increases stamina”, helps fight fatigue, and can even allow a person to go all day without food.
2. Chocolate is rich in flavonoids
Flavonoids are one of the most abundant and largest groups of plant substances that are important for our diet. These phytonutrients are chemicals in plants and play a role as natural antioxidants that promote health. To date, more than 4,000 varieties of flavonoids have been found: cocoa and chocolate, for example, contain flavonol.
3. A Dark Chocolate Bar contains a huge amount of nutrients
A small piece (about 50 grams) of dark chocolate with 70-90% cocoa content includes:
Nearly six grams of fiber needed for healthy digestion.
A third of the recommended daily value for iron, which stimulates the cardiovascular system.
More than a quarter of the norm of magnesium, which is useful for the human skeleton.
Almost 50% of the daily requirement for copper and manganese, which are important for the body’s antioxidant functions.
4. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
After consuming dark chocolate, the flavonoids in it stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which leads to the widening of blood vessels and lowering blood pressure, according to research from the National University of Integral Medicine Australia.
5. Dark chocolate reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol and increases the level of “good”
Everyone has heard more than once about “bad” and “good” cholesterol, but what is behind these concepts? In short, cholesterol is a chemical compound found in all parts of the body, including the nervous system, skin, muscles, liver, intestines, and heart. In the blood, it is in the form of complex compounds with special transporter proteins, the so-called apolipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or beta-lipoprotein) is also known as “bad” cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL, or alpha lipoprotein) is considered “good” cholesterol.
If a lot of “bad” cholesterol circulates in the blood, it gradually begins to settle on the inner walls of the arteries, forming so-called plaques, which make the arteries narrow and less flexible. HDL can block the effects of bad cholesterol. Numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate and cocoa powder lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.