Sweet Tooth? Reach for Dark Chocolate
June 25, 2020
Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Well, not only will dark Chocolate satisfy it, but it comes with several health benefits too. (Just to be clear, we’re not talking about a Milky Way candy bar – we’re talking about high-quality dark Chocolate.)
Chocolate is one of the most popular comfort foods on the planet. Since so many people can’t control themselves and over-indulge, health experts caution against it, warning that it has too many calories and too few nutrients.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
People should avoid overeating any food no matter what it is because too much of anything isn’t good for your health. However, according to research, moderate consumption of dark chocolate might fall into the healthy habit category. How much is a moderate amount? One ounce daily (hey – it isn’t much, but something is better than nothing, right?!)
Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Always reach for dark chocolate because it has more fiber, nutrients, and less sugar and cholesterol.
Look for dark chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70% or more.
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Need to lower your cholesterol? Guess what, dark chocolate has been proven to lower bad cholesterol!
Want a healthier heart? Dark chocolate to the rescue! Certain studies suggest that its nutrients increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. Want even better news? Some studies indicate that dark chocolate might (stress the word “might”) reduce cardiovascular death in men by up to 50%!
Another health benefit of dark chocolate is that it makes your skin look healthier because it’s loaded with flavanols, which guard against sun damage (please continue using sunscreen). Flavanols reduce skin damage caused by too much time in the sun.
Dark chocolate has a surprising effect on diabetes because it actually improves insulin sensitivity! Because of its positive effect on blood sugar levels, people with diabetes can enjoy dark chocolate in moderation (be sure to consult with your doctor).
Dark chocolate is nutritious! Although it can have up to 242 calories per 100 grams, which is why it should be eaten in moderation (one ounce a day), it contains selenium, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and iron. Don’t forget that it’s a great source of fiber, too, at about 11 grams depending on the serving size.
Here’s another reason to reach for dark chocolate, it’s loaded with antioxidants. What’s the deal with these little guys? They fight free radicals throughout the body, improve heart health, and decrease infection risk. Because the cocoa tree is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world, dark chocolate has more antioxidants than blueberries or Acai berries, according to some studies.
But doesn’t dark chocolate have more calories and saturated fat than milk chocolate? Yes. But it beats milk chocolate hands down because it has way more iron and theobromine (known to reduce blood pressure) per half bar than milk chocolate.
When you consider that dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate and fewer carbs, it’s the go-to source to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just make sure you don’t overdo it! Stick to an ounce a day.