Whenever we feel down in the dumps, we often reach out to chocolate which can make us feel tad better. However, we often feel guilty thinking about by the number of calories that we have ingested destroying our healthy diet.
There"s an excellent news though, we have all the right reasons to enjoy dark chocolate (not the sweet and sugar-loaded one!). Here are some of the healthy benefits that would get:
A great source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate is packed with naturally active antioxidants such as flavanols, catechins and so on. These antioxidants help fight of cancer-producing components leaving us with a healthier body.
Loaded with nutrients. Dark Chocolate with a high cocoa content (70 – 85%) contains essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. It also has a high fiber content and caffeine to keep you energized.
Improve blood circulation. Dark chocolate can help improve blood flow because of its active components. It can also have a mild effect on lowering blood pressure.
Reduce the risk of certain diseases. Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties which can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. It reportedly can lower down cholesterol levels , too. Aside from these, it can improve insulin sensitivity lowering the risk of diabetes.
Provide protection to skin. The flavonols in dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin hydration. Think of dark of chocolate on your next summer trip.
Improve cognitive performance. The stimulants caffeine and theobromine in dark chocolate can improve brain function. A study also showed that it the flavonols can improve blood flow to the brain.
Lose weight. Really. Dark chocolate can suppress cravings or appetite by sending signals to the body that you"re full. This can help you avoid those frequent snacks throughout the day.
Improve Mood. The phenylethylamine in dark chocolate stimulates the brain to release endorphins which can give you a better mood. Phenylethylamine is also the same chemical produced by the brain when you fall in love.
The best dark chocolate?
There are a lot of dark chocolate in the market but not all of them are healthy. Try to go for those who have higher cocoa content. You can tell by the taste because high quality dark chocolate may taste a bit bitter and not too sweet. Also, you could try for organic brands or those that really pay tribute to the hard work of cocoa farmers.
If you are hesistant or not that sure in what brand to go for, you could try to make your own dark chocolate at home: