Dark chocolate has long been a hotly debated food product. While some see its benefits as delicious treats, others view it as bitter poisons. No matter your perspective on dark chocolate consumption, however, numerous studies have linked regular intake with various health advantages associated with dark chocolate consumption. Here, we present 10 advantages associated with regularly including it into your diet.
1) Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body against toxins and free radicals that cause oxidative stress and disease, while dark chocolate is full of them; especially flavonoids like catechins, epicatechins, and Proanthocyanidins which have been widely studied for their many health benefits.
Dark chocolate’s antioxidants may help lower your blood pressure, protect against cardiovascular disease and stroke, boost brain function and mood, lower the risk of macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness among older people) and even enhance immunity.
2) Helps Fight Inflammation
Studies have demonstrated the ability of dark chocolate to reduce inflammation, making it useful in treating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and allergic responses. Its theobromine and phenethylamine mine components help your body reduce inflammation by blocking an enzyme (COX-2) responsible for increasing its response to inflammation.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 40%, according to studies. If your cholesterol is already normal, dark chocolate contains so much more cholesterol that normal people that you should eat at least three to four times less of it due to its rich flavonoid content.
4) It May Help Reduce Depression And Anxiety
Eating too much dark chocolate may make you more anxious and depressed, but that won’t be due to flavonoids alone. Instead, its ingredients – particularly Theobromine, Phenethylamine and Tryptophan – have all been linked with improved mood and reduced anxiety levels. Tryptophan’s mood-boosting effects are due to it being converted to serotonin via serotonin production processes in your brain, thus helping regulate both mood and sexual desire.
5) Dark Chocolate Helps Lose Weight
Dark chocolate’s healthy fats, fiber, protein and certain minerals (iron, copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc) contain hormones that balance your blood sugar and boost metabolism to help you lose weight more efficiently, lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and protect against diabetes. As it’s possible that regularly eating dark chocolate will eventually create tolerance to its benefits; in order to maximize effectiveness consider pairing your chocolate snack with other snacks like granola bars and dried fruits to optimize results from each snack.
6) Protects Your Eyes
Dark chocolate contains flavone, an antioxidant that’s good for your eyes. Studies have shown that eating 4 to 5 servings of dark chocolate each week can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 39%; flavone helps reduce oxidative stress and increase blood flow to your retina, thus slowing or stopping its progression.
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Dark chocolate contains magnesium, iron and manganese which can provide essential benefits to both the nervous system and premenstrual syndrome/cramp symptoms. Consuming dark chocolate moderately will have many health advantages; to reap maximum rewards ensure it contains at least 70% cocoa content with no milk or sugar added as ingredients.