Have you read in the news recently that eating dark chocolate improves your health and well being? Did you automatically dismiss it and think that’s impossible, or were you intrigued to learn how and why dark chocolate is good for your health?
I started learning about the health benefits of dark chocolate several years ago shortly after my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. As I was researching Type 1 Diabetes and looking for ways to deal with this health issue I found many different articles about natural ways to improve your health. I discovered the health benefits of magnesium, garlic, onions, and of course, dark chocolate.
Now the dark chocolate I am talking about isn’t the candy bars that you find at the checkout counter of your local grocery store. Those candy bars are typically high in sugar and contain chocolate that is processed which reduces the amount of flavonoids in the chocolate.
The dark chocolate I am talking about today is high quality dark chocolate which is loaded with flavonoids and is high in cacao (70%, 85% or 90%) and low in sugar.
Do you love chocolate? If you just nodded yes, then read on my friend.
How Dark Chocolate Improves Your Health and Well Being
Flavonoids are the same healthy compound that is found in strawberries, blueberries, apples, apricots, raspberries, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and onions. The main type of flavanoid found in dark chocolate are flavanols.
Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree’s fruit and contains flavanols. These flavanols act as antioxidants in your body.
Antioxidants protect your body against damaging effects caused by free radicals.
But what are free radicals and why should I care?
Free radicals are naturally generated in your body and are also present in environmental contaminants. When free radical levels are too high in your body and there are not enough antioxidants in your body to offset the oxidation caused by these compounds then damage can occur to your body. Damage can range from cholesterol forming on the walls of your blood vessels, blood clots and high blood pressure.
Dark chocolate contains about eight times the number of antioxidants than strawberries.
Simply eating 2 to 3 ounces of delicious dark chocolate that is 70% or higher in cacao each day will improve your health and well being in the following ways.
Eating Dark Chocolate Will
- Lower your blood pressure
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol
- Increase good HDL cholesterol
- Lower your blood sugar levels
- Improve your mood
- Increase your energy levels
- Improve your memory
- Make it easier for you to concentrate and maintain your focus
Dark chocolate also contains vitamins critical to your health as well, namely the copper needed for iron absorption and heart health, magnesium that reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and prehypertension, and potassium for lower blood pressure and stroke risk.
More Reasons Why You Should Eat Dark Chocolate
- It may be easier to get your kids to eat dark chocolate than it is to get them to eat enough fruits and vegetables every day.
- It is low in sugar.
- It works as a great appetite suppressant.
- Easily satisfies your chocolate cravings.
- Replaces bad treats with good treats.
Make Good Dark Chocolate Treats
Dark chocolate can be found as chocolate bars or as cacao powder. You can mix 100% raw cacao powder with hot milk and a tablespoon of sugar to make delicious and nutritious hot chocolate.
Some other yummy suggestions are:
- Break up a dark chocolate bar into small chunks and make homemade dark chocolate chunk cookies.
- Melt down the dark chocolate bars and make gooey brownies or dark chocolate cheesecake.
- Make dark chocolate dipped strawberries.
While dark chocolate may not be the miracle cure to all of your ailments, dark chocolate is definitely a delicious way to improve your health and your family's health.