How Eating Dark Chocolate Improves Your Health and Well Being

dark chocolate

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.

healthy dark chocolateDark 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.

 


Comments

    • Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

      Marie at FamilyMoneyValues 12/19/2012 7:59 a.m. #

      Loooooovvvvveeee chocolate!

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 12/19/2012 8:11 a.m. #

      I'm not that big of a fan of dark chocolate, but I got my secret santa a TON of it this year!

    • Kyle @ Rather-Be-Shopping.com

      Kyle @ Rather-Be-Shopping.com 12/19/2012 10:13 a.m. #

      I had heard this before but always kind of dismissed it. Interesting that it does so much good for the body. And dipped in strawberries, that sounds awesome.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 6 a.m. #

      @Glen - It can be bitter at first because of the lack of sugar, but as you say, once you eat it you can't go back to milk chocolate. I too have added small bits to yogurt and had it for breakfast. Who could believe that you could enjoy chocolate for breakfast, right?

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 7:15 a.m. #

      @Grayson - It is so very good for you! Enjoy!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 7:45 a.m. #

      @John - I personally buy the 70% dark chocolate Lindt bars. One day they were sold out and I tried the 80% and it was definitely too bitter for me. 70% is the perfect blend.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 10:59 a.m. #

      @Marie - Me too!!

      @DC - Your secret Santa is very lucky!!

      @Kyle - I must have been thinking about you when I wrote the first paragraph. ;-)
      I think it may be because we were raised to believe that chocolate was only for a treat and that it wasn't healthy. And while that is true for the grocery store candy bars, it is completely wrong for dark chocolate bars and cacao powder.

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 12/19/2012 11:16 a.m. #

      I love dark chocolate! Now I can feel so much better when I indulge myself. Paired with a glass of red wine, I'm sure I'm being quite healthy! :D

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 11:33 a.m. #

      @Shannon - Red wine and dark chocolate, the perfect after dinner treat. Thanks Shannon!

    • krantcents

      krantcents 12/19/2012 12:02 p.m. #

      I try to eat less chocolate, but you just gave me a reason to change. When I do I love chocolate with nuts. Although my cholesterol is under control, I probably could experiment with dark chocolate as long as it has nuts.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 12:40 p.m. #

      @krantcents - I bet you could find dark chocolate with nuts too, and enjoy it :-). My favorite is almonds.

    • Cat

      Cat 12/19/2012 2:17 p.m. #

      I still prefer milk chocolate, but I am trying to eat more dark chocolate. Frankly, any chocolate will do. I am eating so much of it these days! :)

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/19/2012 2:55 p.m. #

      @Cat - Mmmm.....chocolate! We'll convert you yet :-) I use to love Hershey's milk chocolate bars with almonds. Ever had those?

    • Catherine

      Catherine 12/20/2012 6:49 a.m. #

      Well since you're twisting my rubber arm I should probably go eat a box or two of dark chocolate right? I love chocolate period. I wish I didn't but it gets me every time.

    • Gillian @ Money After Graduation

      Gillian @ Money After Graduation 12/20/2012 9:03 a.m. #

      I LOVE dark chocolate. So happy that it's good for you, thanks for spreading the word! Also I have this recipe for a chocolate mousse/dip and you take an avocado, honey, and cocoa powder, mix together with a hand blender and it's SO good and addictive. And healthy !

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 12/20/2012 1:27 p.m. #

      @Catherine - A box or two? Only in my dreams!

      @Gillian - That does sound so good!! Thanks for sharing. I love avocado. You know what? That also sounds like it would make a good face mask.

    • AverageJoe

      AverageJoe 12/20/2012 4:56 p.m. #

      Never really had the chocolate bug, but I'm with Shannon: with a glass of red wine, dark chocolate sounds like fun (and I can tell people I'm just a health freak while I'm getting loaded....).

Comments are closed.