Do you have a secret love affair with chocolate? No need to feel guilty! Indulging in the right kind of chocolate has great health benefits. In fact, you should eat chocolate regularly – in moderation of course!
Not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate provides several nutrients and is good for your heart and brain. Dark chocolate gets its health benefits from plant compounds called cocoa phenols which are only present in darker chocolate. Milk chocolate and white chocolate don’t have the same benefits.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. Dark chocolate prevents blood clots and improves blood flow. An ounce of dark chocolate a couple of times a week can lower your blood pressure and help prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Dark chocolate improves mood and boosts cognitive function. Chocolate is called the food of love for a reason. It contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical the brain produces when you fall in love. Phenylethylamine prompts the brain to release endorphins, elevating the mood and making you feel better. Dark chocolate also improves blood flow to the brain, reducing the risk for stroke and improving brain function.
Enjoy our Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.
Chocolate can improve your dental health – what? That’s right. Dark chocolate contains theobromine which has been shown to harden tooth enamel. Combined with proper oral hygiene, your periodic dark chocolate indulgence may give a slight boost to your dental health. Who knew?
Dark chocolate is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals. It contains copper and potassium which help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. Dark chocolate is high in iron and can protect against anemia. It also contains magnesium which reduces high blood pressure and prevents type II diabetes and heart disease. Dark chocolate is also a rich source of anti-oxidants that fight free radical damage that can lead to cancer.
If you need a treat that is low on the glycemic index, choose dark chocolate. It won’t cause the spikes and crashes associated with other sweets, and it helps to control blood sugar levels. The flavonoids in dark chocolate reduce insulin resistance.
Try our Slow Cooker Fudge
Dark chocolate is also a good addition to your beauty regimen. The antioxidants it contains are great for the skin and have anti-aging properties. Eating a bit of dark chocolate may help prevent wrinkles and improve skins appearance.
Now you know all the reasons why chocolate is good for you, so go on and indulge (a bit) with these recipes that include our favorite superfood!
Reap the Benefits of dark chocolate with our Chocolate Pudding or Fudge Brownie Bites.