7 Healthy Benefits of Dark Chocolate - Joylux

7 Healthy Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Your fondness for chocolate doesn’t go unnoticed by your body. Studies show eating small amounts of dark chocolate boasts some convincing health benefits. Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and chock full of good-for-you nutrients.

1. Rich in antioxidants

The organic compounds active in dark chocolate act as antioxidants that support your overall health and wellness. These nutrients include flavonols, polyphenols, and catechins. Cocoa has high levels of oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which measures antioxidant activity.

2. Promotes healthy blood pressure and flow

Flavonols stimulate the lining of the arteries and produce nitric oxide, which signals the arteries to relax. Dark chocolate isn’t a substitute for medication.

3. Supports heart health

When cholesterol oxidizes, it can lodge in the arteries and eventually cause heart disease. The compounds in dark chocolate protect the body from cholesterol oxidation — which is a primary cause of clogged arteries. Some studies suggest that eating dark chocolate in moderation reduces the presence of calcified plaque in the arteries by 32 percent.

Other studies show dark chocolate may reduce the risk of stroke. It has also been found to increase insulin resistance, which can determine the development of diabetes.

4. May improve health cholesterol numbers

The antioxidants found in dark chocolate protect the body’s lipoproteins against oxidation. This helps lower bad cholesterol levels, which can damage the delicate artery lining if not managed.

5. Supports healthy brain function

Some studies suggest that eating dark chocolate for several days improves blood flow to the brain. Cocoa may support cognitive function and verbal fluency in older adults with minor impairments. These short-term effects on brain function may be caused by the stimulates found in chocolate, like caffeine and theobromine.

6. May support a healthy mood

Theobromine in dark chocolate may increase your energy levels, And anandamide acts as a mood and energy boost. The first gives you an intense spike of energy, while the latter has a slow-burning effect and may enhance calmness later on.

Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which the body metabolizes into serotonin. Serotonin regulates the mood, and chocolate may serve as a supplement to increase your natural phenethylamine levels.

7. Dark chocolate is packed with nutrients

Many of the snacks we love offer a lot of calories without all the benefits. This isn’t so with dark chocolate. It offers a credible amount of soluble fiber to help digestion,  plus ample iron, magnesium, and a complete daily recommendation of manganese and copper. Chocolate also provides a solid amount of zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium. Many people balk at the amount of fat found in chocolate. But the fats primarily consist of oleic acid, a heart-healthy fat.

How much dark chocolate should you get?

You’ll reap the benefits of dark chocolate with one to two ounces per day. Yep, we said it. You can eat dark chocolate in small doses daily. We don’t recommend hoarding it all for a single sitting. Purchase a bar and break off small squares to relish at the end of your day.

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