7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
1 -VERY NUTRITIOUS:
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fiber
67% of the RDA for Iron
58% of the RDA for Magnesium
89% of the RDA for Copper
98% of the RDA for Manganase
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
2 - POWERFUL SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS:
Contains flavonoids called procyanidins & epicatechins; flavonoids are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols and are found in a variety of foods including dark chocolate, tea, red wine, and various fruits and vegetables.
Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants, way more than most other foods.
3 - MAY IMPROVE BLOOD FLOW AND LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE:
The flavonoids can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO) which is gas. One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure and risk of blood clots.
4 - RAISES HDL AND PROTECTS LDL AGAINST OXIDATION:
Cocoa may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels because it consists mainly of stearic acid and oleic acid. Stearic acid is a saturated fat, but unlike most saturated fatty acids, it does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, does not raise cholesterol and may even reduce it.
5 - MAY LOWER THE RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE:
The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries and we should see a lower risk of heart disease over the long term.
In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period,
6 - MAY PROTECT YOUR SKIN AGAINST THE SUN:
The flavonoids can protect agains sun induced damge, improove blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydratation.
7 - MAY IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION:
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease. It contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine which may be a key reason cocoa improve brain function in the short term. May improve mood and pleasure by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.