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Five Reasons That Will Make You Fall In Love With Dark Chocolates!

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 24 June 2022, Updated on - 23 September 2022

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We all know that every natural food has loads to offer in terms of nutrition. However, can you say the same for chocolate? Well, yes! Dark chocolate is packed with essential micronutrients and some of the best antioxidants. The article below explains the scientifically proven health benefits of eating dark chocolate. 

Health Benefits Linked to Dark Chocolate

1. Improves Heart Health

Dark chocolate contains epicatechin, a plant-based compound, that helps stimulate the lining of the arteries to produce nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a chemical compound that relaxes the arteries, improves the flow of blood to the heart, and lowers blood pressure. The antioxidants in dark chocolate also prevent the oxidation of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, which further protects the blood vessel lining. All these effects combine together to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. 

chocolate heart

2. Enhances Cognitive Function and Brain Health

Epicatechin and stimulants like caffeine and theobromine present in dark chocolate help increase the flow of blood to the brain. Available scientific evidence suggests that improved blood flow to the brain may help enhance cognitive functions, including memory, visual-spatial awareness, and reaction time. According to a study, a cocoa extract known as lavado may help reduce or prevent nerve damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The extract may also delay age-related cognitive impairment.

brain

3. Boosts Athletic Performance

According to research, intake of dark chocolate can help improve exercise performance. Epicatechin in dark chocolate increases the production of nitric oxide in the arteries and improves oxygen availability to the muscles. These effects allow athletes to maintain performance for longer periods. 

athlete

4. Reduces Stress

Dark chocolate has been known to help improve mood and enhance feelings of pleasure and enjoyment. The plant compounds in dark chocolate act as antioxidants, which help reduce the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. According to a study, people who consumed 85% dark chocolate daily had a better overall mood than those who ate chocolate with less cocoa or didn’t eat chocolate at all.

happy

5. Beneficial Against Diabetes

According to a study, people who ate chocolate at least once a week had a lower prevalence of diabetes. Researchers believe that certain plant-based compounds in dark chocolate help the cells in the body use insulin better. This reduces the risk of insulin resistance, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. 

diabetes

While there is ample scientific evidence to prove the health benefits of dark chocolate, you must not overindulge in it. One must remember that moderation is the key. To get the best benefits, always choose dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.

Is dark chocolate really beneficial?

Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, a dietician associated with Apollo 24|7states that “Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart diseases, keep blood pressure within limits, and boost brain health. However, one must not consume more than 30 to 40 grams of dark chocolate per day as it also contains sugar and calories.”

If you have more questions,

Consult Dr Priyanka Rohatgi

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