Nature's Delicious Medicine
Finally some good news about your favorite treat. A lot of research
has gone into chocolate consumption and it turns out its really good for
your health. It seems daily doses of dark chocolate can keep the doctor
Don’t go stuffing your face just yet. While dark chocolate has an
abundance of benefits experts warn that it also highly fattening
and can often be filled with lots of added sugars. Nonetheless,
the delicious food has many advantages, you’d be crazy not to want
to eat it.
1. Rich in nutrients
Dark chocolate is rich in many of the vitamins and minerals that are vital
for your body's functioning. It has high concentrations of magnesium,
iron, potassium, and copper. Magnesium helps prevent high blood
pressure, type 2 diabetes and other heart disease while iron protects
against anemia. Both potassium and copper prevent stroke and
cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa,
contains a fair amount of fiber, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and
selenium, all daily required minerals from your diet.
2. Improves blood circulation and blood pressure
A significant benefit of dark chocolate is that it’s good for your heart and
blood because it may improve your blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Dark chocolate contains chemical compounds called flavanols. These
stimulate the lining of arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide. This
gas sends signals to the blood vessels to relax, which lowers resistance
to blood flow and in turn this helps reduce blood pressure. Lower blood
flow reduces your chance of blood clots from forming and prevents
arteriosclerosis, the hardening of arteries.
3. It’s good for insulin resistance
Another benefit of dark chocolate is that it’s a good option for those with
diabetes as it has a low glycemic index, so eating it doesn’t make your
blood sugar levels rise. Dark chocolate has flavonoids, plant pigments,
which are usually removed from chocolate because of their bitter taste.
They help your cells function normally and retrain your body to use
insulin effectively, reducing insulin resistance.
4. It can reduce cholesterol
Researchers have found that regularly eating dark chocolate lowers
the LDL cholesterol. This is the “bad” cholesterol which is dangerous
when oxidized. It can inflame your arteries, and promote heart
attack or stroke risk. Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants
which protect against oxidative damage. Dark chocolate has also
been shown to increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol.
5. It improves the health of your skin
Dark chocolate can also be good for your skin’s health. Flavonoids in dark
chocolate increase skin density and hydration, and improve your blood
flow to your skin. Flavonoids offer some protection against sun-induced
damage and can thwart off the reddening effect of burns, however, they
can’t replace a good layer of sunscreen.
6. Protection for your teeth
Dark chocolate contains Theobromine, which eliminates bacteria and
hardens tooth enamel. If you practice good dental hygiene, dark
chocolate can actually lower your risk of getting cavities.
7. It can treat coughs
Theobromine is also a mild stimulant and does wonders for suppressing
coughs. This chemical compound blocks the sensory nerves from
activity and this stops the cough reflex. Unlike codeine, the active
ingredient in most cough syrups, dark chocolate doesn’t have that
drowsy side effect.
8. It’s anti-aging and fights cancer
Dark chocolate can keep you looking young because it’s packed
with antioxidants, which fight toxins and free radicals in your
body that cause damage to skin cells. Not only do the antioxidants
slow down the aging process but they can also eliminate certain
Flavonols, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins are antioxidants
present in dark chocolate that help slow the growth of cancer cells.
Pentamer, another compound that naturally occurs in cocoa, can
deactivate proteins that encourage cancer cells to continually divide.
9. It’s a mood enhancer
they’re feeling down. The reason is because chocolate stimulates
your body’s production of endorphins and serotonin, hormones
that cause you to feel pleasure and happiness. Dark chocolate
is also filled with phenylethylamine, the same chemical produced
in your brain when you fall in love.
10. Acts as a stress reliever
It seems like dark chocolate is a miracle food because it can also be used
to lower the risk of heart disease caused by stress. Dark chocolate helps
people cope with stressful situations and feel the effect of stress less.
Researchers found that people who ate dark chocolate regularly had
lower levels of stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine, circulating in