“Dark chocolate is good for you.” It’s something that you may have heard in passing whether on the news or from a friend. But it’s one of those things that sounds almost too true. It runs counter to what many of us were told growing up, that sweet foods like desserts are unhealthy.
As it turns out, a piece of dark chocolate might just be your healthiest choice when you’re craving something sweet. Don’t just take our word for it though. There’s plenty of research that shows that dark chocolate offers numerous health benefits. Here we’ll look at some of the health benefits of dark chocolate and why it’s fine to occasionally indulge in this delicious treat without feeling too much guilt.
Cocoa – the main ingredient in dark chocolate – is rich in a naturally occurring substance called flavonoids which boosts cardiovascular health. It supports the production of nitric oxide which helps to relax the blood vessels and improve circulation. This is beneficial for your overall health as the circulatory system plays a vital role in ensuring that each part of the body gets the nutrients it needs.
One study published in the British Medical Journal analysed seven studies involving more than 114,000 people and found that individuals who ate more chocolate had a 37 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease than those who had consumed less.
It sounds a little crazy. But that tasty bar of dark chocolate you might be holding in your hands right now can actually help fight cancer.
We’ve briefly touched on the fact that cocoa is rich in flavonoids and how it boosts cardiovascular health. What we didn’t mention is that the flavonoids are an abundant source of antioxidants – substances which can prevent or slow down cell damage. One study involving rats found that dark chocolate helped delay the onset of colon cancer and related inflammation. It’s important to note though that research in this area is still ongoing but the data available is suggestive.
Dark chocolate isn’t just beneficial for your overall health. There is even research to suggest that it can improve cognitive function.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition examined the correlation of consuming wine, tea, and chocolate (all rich in flavonoids) and cognitive performance. More than 2,000 participants were involved in the study and were between the ages of 70 to 74. The study found that those who had consumed foods rich in flavonoids had a “lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not.”
The key takeaway from the studies cited above is that dark chocolate offers numerous health benefits. Of course, moderation is key as consuming dark chocolate in large quantities could negate any health benefits that it brings. Dark chocolate is still a candy which contains sugar and fat. But eating a little in moderation can be beneficial for your health.
Want to bring more dark chocolate into your life? Taste some of our latest dark chocolate creations which you can purchase right from our online store.
Alex Morrison has been a SEO expert for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.