If you’re an avid chocolate lover, what would make you more happy than knowing the fact that your favorite chocolate is actually very nutritious? Dark chocolate has been discovered to have loads of health benefits. While it is also high in fat and calories, you need not be guilty anymore about enjoying an ounce few times a week. When you’re buying dark chocolate, it’s better to choose the one with at least 70% cocoa content.
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One medium sized bar has more than 600 calories which is fairly a large amount and should not be consumed daily. The fat and calorie content can vary in different brands of the chocolate. One ounce of the chocolate contains 170 calories and 12 grams (19%) of total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated fat. It has 2 grams of protein and 7 grams of sugar content.
It contains fats such as oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Stearic acid is a saturated fat. The oleic acid present in dark chocolate is a monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil. The monounsaturated fatty acids lower the risk of heart diseases and blood pressure. Here are 5 amazing health benefits of dark chocolate that you shouldn’t miss.
6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Antioxidants are an essential part of maintaining health as they fight cell damage caused by free radicles and reduce their formation. Some antioxidants are produced naturally by the body but the rate of production declines with age. Doctors suggest getting antioxidants from foods and high-quality antioxidant supplements. Dark chocolate is one of the superfoods that contain compounds such as polyphenols, flavanols, catechins which function as antioxidant agents.
2. Weight Loss
Dark chocolate is made with cocoa which is rich in flavanols. Flavanols have been found to have weight loss and anti-diabetes benefits. Recent researches show that there are several group of compounds in cocoa that prevents weight gain and obesity.
3. Heart Heath
Consuming dark chocolate helps to fight various signs of heart diseases. The compounds in dark chocolate help to increase HDL and insulin sensitivity. It reduces oxidation of LDL which will cause less cholesterol storage in the arteries, lowering the risk of heart disease in future. Eating a small amount (one ounce) few times a week can lower blood pressure and improve the blood flow. The flavonoids in the chocolate help to reduce the cell’s resistance to insulin.
4. Brain Health
Dark chocolate not only improves the blood flow to the heart but also to the brain. It is known to contain a chemical known as phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that is created by the brain when you feel you’re in love. So eating a dark chocolate will make you happier. It is also known to have a little amount of caffeine which is helpful in reducing stress
5. Guards Against Sun Damage
Do you know that dark chocolate can also be used as a sunscreen? The cocoa present in your favorite dark chocolate can protect your skin from the damage caused by Ultra Violet light. A study in London revealed that people who ate high-flavanoid, cocoa-rich chocolate improved skin protection from UV rays significantly, compared to those who consumed low-flavanoid chocolate like that found in the milk chocolate.