Dark Chocolate Has Proven Health Advantages

Dark Chocolate Has Proven Health Advantages

Consuming dark chocolate with a high cocoa content in moderation can provide antioxidants and minerals, as well as aid protect against heart disease. However, it may also be heavy in sugar and calories.

Dark chocolate is high in nutrients that might benefit your health.

It’s one of the greatest antioxidant sources available, made from the cocoa tree’s seed.

According to research, dark chocolate can improve your health and lessen your risk of heart disease.

Here are seven scientifically proven health benefits of dark chocolate or cocoa.

Very nourishing

It’s quite healthful if you buy high-quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.

It has a good amount of soluble fibre and is high in minerals.

A 100-gram bar of 70-85% cocoa dark chocolate comprises (1Trusted Source):

Eleven grammes of fibre
66% of the daily value for iron
57% of the daily value for magnesium
Copper: 196% of the DV; manganese: 85% of the DV
It also contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

Of course, 100 grammes (3.5 ounces) is a substantial amount that should not be consumed on a daily basis. These nutrients also have 600 calories and a modest sugar content.

As a result, dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation.

Cocoa and dark chocolate have an excellent fatty acid profile. The fats are largely made up of oleic acid (a heart-healthy fat found in olive oil), stearic acid, and palmitic acid.

Stearic acid has no effect on blood cholesterol. Although palmitic acid can elevate cholesterol levels, it only accounts for one-third of total fat calories.

Dark chocolate includes stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, but it is unlikely to keep you awake at night because the caffeine content is so low when compared to coffee.

An excellent source of antioxidants

ORAC is an abbreviation for oxygen radical absorption capacity. It is a measure of food antioxidant activity.

Essentially, researchers test a number of free radicals (bad) against a meal sample to evaluate how well the antioxidants in the food can disarm the free radicals.

According to these findings, cocoa is high in antioxidants. However, the biological relevance of ORAC values is called into doubt because they are measured in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body.

Human studies do not consistently reveal the same range of antioxidant properties for chocolate. However, experts think there isn’t enough proof to be certain (2Trusted Source).

Dark chocolate contains a high concentration of chemical components that are biologically active and act as antioxidants. Polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins are a few examples. According to study, when paired with other foods like almonds and cocoa, the polyphenols in dark chocolate may help lower some forms of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol (3Trusted Source).

According to one study, cocoa and dark chocolate contain more antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavanols than any other fruit studied, including blueberries and acai berries (4).

It is possible that it will enhance blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Dark chocolate flavanoids can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to create nitric oxide (NO) (5).

One of NO’s tasks is to convey signals to the arteries to relax, lowering the resistance to blood flow and thereby lowering blood pressure.

Many controlled studies have found that cocoa and dark chocolate can enhance blood flow and reduce blood pressure, while the effects are usually minor (6Trusted Source, 7).

Take this with a grain of salt, however, because one study in adults with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure found no effect (8Trusted Source). People who are already being treated for high blood pressure may not get any further benefit from include cocoa flavanols in their diet.

Given the wide range of studies on this topic, it is evident that more study is required (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Increases HDL while protecting LDL from oxidation.

Dark chocolate consumption can improve numerous significant risk factors for heart disease. It may help prevent high cholesterol.

Eating dark chocolate coupled with the flavanol lycopene was found to dramatically lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides in a small research (11Trusted Source).

Some LDL cholesterol types are more likely to oxidise, which occurs when they react with free radicals in your body. Oxidation renders the LDL particle reactive and capable of causing damage to other tissues, such as the lining of your heart’s arteries.

It stands to reason that cocoa reduces oxidation-prone types of LDL. It includes a high concentration of strong antioxidants that enter the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins from oxidative damage (3Trusted Source).

Dark chocolate’s flavanols can help improve insulin resistance, which is another significant risk factor for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes (12Trusted Source).

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Dark chocolate components appear to be very protective against LDL oxidation.

In the long run, this should result in considerably less cholesterol accumulating in the arteries, lowering the risk of heart disease.

In fact, studies reveal a significant improvement.

Several studies have demonstrated that eating flavanol-rich cocoa or chocolate will decrease blood pressure and enhance cardiovascular health over time (13Trusted Source).

A study found that eating chocolate three times a week reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 9%. Eating chocolate more frequently provided no significant benefit (14Trusted Source).

Another study found that eating 45 grammes of chocolate per week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%. More than 100 grammes per week appear to have no health benefits (15Trusted Source).

According to a 2017 clinical investigation, participants who consumed almonds with or without dark chocolate had lower LDL cholesterol levels (3Trusted Source).

Although all of these outcomes are encouraging, more research is needed to determine whether it was the chocolate that reduced the risk.

However, because the biological process is established (lower blood pressure and lower oxidation-prone LDL), it is possible that eating dark chocolate on a regular basis may minimise the risk of heart disease.

Written by ogwriter


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