Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dark Chocolate -Nature's Delicious Medicine

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 
far away.
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 
cancerous cells. 
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

altIt’s well known that chocolate is some people's go-to food when 
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 
their blood.

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