Is dark chocolate good for you? The one that contains more than 70 percent of pure cocoa will do wonders for your health.
Millions of women worldwide have already discovered a better way to live – by snacking on grams and grams of cocoa.
The cocoa contains a lot of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals – which makes it a superfood for improved health, beauty, brain functioning, weight loss, and sex life.
Dark chocolate nutritional value:
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, 100-gram bar of dark chocolate, made with about 70-85% cocoa solids provides:
- 7.79 grams of proteins
- 598 calories
- 45.9 grams of carbohydrates
- 42.63 grams of fats
- 10.09 grams of fibers
- 23.99 grams of sugar
- 11.09 milligrams of iron
- 228.00 milligrams of magnesium
- 3.31 milligrams of zinc
Benefits of eating dark chocolate regularly:
Rich in phytochemicals, Vitamins (A, C, D, E, and B1) plus calcium, iron, manganese, and amino acids, dark chocolate can improve your skin in the following ways:
1. Prevents aging
Dark chocolate contains potent antioxidants such as flavanols, catechins, polyphenols, etc. that fight free radicals, preventing the damage of your tissues leading to early onset of wrinkles.
It has chemicals that stimulate the brain to release “happy hormones”, keeping your stress at bay. Thereby preventing the breakdown of collagen, responsible for keeping the skin elastic.
By snacking on the slightly bitter variety instead of the milk and sugar-laden white one, you ensure that your skin retains its youthful glow thanks to those cacao solids.
2. Boosts skin moisture
Dark chocolate helps keep the skin being nourished. It contains vitamins and minerals plus L-arginine, which promotes blood circulation, keeping skin cells nourished and detoxified.
It also has an excellent fatty acid profile of mostly monosaturated and saturated fats, which helps keep the skin nourished from the inside.
3. Protects from sun damage
One group was treated to flavanols-rich dark one, and the other to low-flavanol milk version. After 12 weeks, the skin of participants from both groups was tested with UV light.
The finding was that flavanols from cocoa did not only make subjects happy, but their protection from UV light had doubled compared to the group that was treated to low-flavanols version.
The explanation lies in the improved micro-circulation in the skin itself avails the oxygenation needed by the skin for protection. Polyphenols in the cocoa, have suppressing effects against photoaging, radiation and carcinogenic activities of UV rays.
4. Helps with diabetes type II
Studies show that cocoa improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
So, snacking on it, with some restraint of course, might delay or even prevent diabetes.
Of course, diabetes affects the skin too. Skin problems are often the earliest visible sign of diabetes.
Diabetes type II is associated with poor blood circulation, reducing nutrients supply to the skin.
And because skin cells are not replenished with oxygenation needed for self-rejuvenation, diabetes type II is accompanied by skin problems such as the breakdown of collagen, changes in skin texture, slow-healing wounds, etc.
Therefore, eat dark chocolate regularly to supply the body with L-arginine, which improves blood flow and promotes the healing of wounds leading to better-looking skin even with diabetes.
5. Protects against blood inflammation
Dark chocolate has substances that work against blood inflammation-inducing proteins.
Inflammation, of course, is the body’s natural reaction against germs and other harmful elements.
But if it gets chronic, inflammation can wreak havoc on one’s health by damaging tissues and cells.
Chronic inflammation increases the risk of health conditions such as arthritis, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
By fighting against inflammation, dark chocolate helps protect against skin scarring and other conditions caused by an overreactive immune system.
6. Enhances sex life
Do you want to spice up your bedroom life? Chocolate is for lovers.
Dark chocolate acts as an aphrodisiac in the bedroom.
It looks sexy on its own when packed in a red heart-shaped box, and when you consume it, you are surely going to feel sexier too.
And there’s a biological reason for the sensual feelings.
It contains substances that, when in the body, bring about physiological and psychological outcomes desirable for great sex life.
7. Promotes the flow of blood to sexual organs
Cocoa contains L-arginine, which is a vital amino acid needed by the body for proper functioning.
The L-arginine improves blood circulation by releasing nitric oxide in the blood.
Nitric oxide assists in widening blood vessels, thereby helping with various blood circulatory problems.
Dark chocolate can, therefore, improve your sexual desire, sensation, and satisfaction by promoting the flow of blood to your sexual organs.
8. Elevates the mood
Eating cocoa supplies the body with the “romance chemical” phenylethylamine (PEA), which induces sensations of euphoria.
PEA is a “romance chemical” because it’s naturally released by the brain when you are in love. But you can also get PEA by snacking on dark chocolate.
PEA induces feelings of euphoria by promoting the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is a “happy hormone”.
9. Boosts sexual energy
Theobromine is another chemical that makes dark chocolate an aphrodisiac.
It acts on the central nervous system by stimulating the production of endorphins and serotonin, making a person feel excited and stimulated.
Theobromine is also found in tea and kola nuts, but getting it from chocolate is much sexier!
10. Dark chocolate improves cardiovascular health
Dark chocolate is excellent for the broken heart (both metaphorically and literally).
The chemicals in cocoa stimulate and induce feelings of wellness, happiness, and euphoria while promoting healthy blood circulation, reducing blood pressure and insulin, thereby improving heart health.
Eat dark chocolates regularly because it helps with cardiovascular benefits.
11. Decreases the risk of stroke
A Swedish study revealed that women who snacked on at least 45 grams of cocoa weekly were 20% less likely to experience a stroke.
The explanation, of course, lies in the flavonoids again.
These metabolites prevent platelet aggregation, which would otherwise contribute to blood clot formation and stroke.
12. Increases the amount of HDL and prevents the oxidation of LDL
HDL is a high-density lipoprotein that transports cholesterol to the liver for expulsion from the body.
LDL is a low-density lipoprotein – a bad form of cholesterol that reacts with oxygen increasing the risk of blood clots and stroke.
By increasing the “good cholesterol” and preventing the formation of oxidized LDL, the antioxidants in cocoa protect against the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries, which is a risk factor for heart diseases.
13. Promotes weight loss
Snacking on cocoa regularly is going to show on your waistline soon.
Studies show that dark chocolate can be used as a trigger just before a meal to send signals to the brain that one’s stomach is already “full” leading to reduced appetite.
This is possible because of the high amount of dietary fibers that induce the feeling of satiety.
Dark chocolate can also be used to discourage snacking.
Snacking, especially on munchies, is a bad dietary habit that may lead to overweight problems. Just follow the same method used to reduce appetite – melt a small square of dark chocolate on your tongue after a meal to discourage subsequent snacking.
By inducing the “feel good” emotions, cocoa also puts you in the right state of mind to carry out physical exercise routines and shed off the excess body weight.
14. Reduces the risk of various types of cancer
The cocoa contains pentameric procyanidin (just call it pentamer).
In the body pentamer interferes with the activity of cancer cells, keeping them from spreading.
In a 2005 study conducted by the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, cancer cells were treated with pentamer, and the revelation was that pentamer suppressed proteins necessary for the growth of the cancer cells.
15. Cocoa is cough-quelling
Cocoa may be the most delicious way to fight coughs yet.
The theobromine is not only an aphrodisiac. It also reduces the activity, vagus nerve, the brain part known to trigger coughing fits.
Scientists are attempting to produce effective cough-suppressing medicine, that contains theobromine, which is the cocoa-derived compound.
16. Improves life expectancy
Biblical methuselah, Jeanne Louise Calment is the oldest human whose age was nicely documented.
Her lifespan of 122 years attracted media attention.
She ate 2.5 pounds of dark chocolate every week. And according to Harvard researchers, this was the reason for her long lifespan.
The researchers say eating cocoa regularly increases one’s life expectancy by 2 years.
17. Cocoa is good for the brain
Dark chocolate has substances that improve one’s moods.
They also promote blood circulation nourishing the brain.
It also supplies antioxidants that fight against stress-inducing free radicals, which would otherwise encourage deterioration of brain cells, and onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
18. Improves memory, and reduces stress
A John Hopkins study also found out that epicatechin in cocoa shields the brain from the effects of stroke as well as improving memory.
And these brain-boosting substances could be the reason why a British study found out that after downing a cup of hot chocolate, subjects could comfortably count backward from any number between 800 – 999.
19. Good for brain healing
There’s a link between flavanols and neuroplasticity.
Results from a 2018 research show that a high intake of cocoa promotes neuroplasticity, giving the brain the ability to reorganize and heal itself after injury and disease.
Are there any risks to dark chocolate consumption?
The afore-listed nutritional information quantity is of 100g of dark chocolate.
Most studies use between 20 to 30 grams of dark chocolate.
Remember, while dark chocolate contains a mountain of health benefits, these only come from the flavanols-rich cocoa.
And cocoa only makes about 70-85% percent of dark chocolate content. Unless you go for 99% version.
The other part usually is filled with sugars and fats, which makes dark chocolate a very calorie-dense food.
Dark chocolate may be slightly bitter, but its beauty and health advantages greatly surpass those of the more preferable sweeter chocolate varieties.