Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?

stacked-chocolate-blocks

Hello Bloggers! I actually love Dark Chocolate for a few reasons. If you have a sweet tooth like me, your about to love it to!

I’m sure we have all heard that dark chocolate is good for us—hooray for heart-healthy antioxidants! But it also contains something else that can help to control your appetite, promote digestive health, and protect against diabetes, yes that’s right, “It can help control your appetite!

The secret element in dark chocolate is……You guessed it: Fiber! A whopping 11 grams per 100-gram bar of dark chocolate made from 70-85% cocoa, to be exact. That comes out to 3 grams per 1-ounce serving—compare that to the 1.9 grams in a slice of whole grain bread.

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health and is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet! Studies show that dark chocolate can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber.
  • 67% of the RDA for Iron.
  • 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
  • 89% of the RDA for Copper.
  • 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Have you ever heard of a measure called ORAC? ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. Basically, researchers pit a bunch of free radicals (bad) against a sample of food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can “disarm” them.

The biological relevance of this metric is questioned, because it’s done in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body. However, I think it is worth mentioning that raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest scoring foods that have been tested.

Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included blueberries and Acai berries (and we all know how good those are for your body) Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.

The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin, 24 hours after exposure. In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks. If you’re planning on a beach vacation, consider loading up on dark chocolate in the prior weeks and months.

The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of the brain. One study of healthy volunteers showed that 5 days of consuming high-flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain.

Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease. Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term!

There is considerable evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular disease.

But of course, this doesn’t mean people should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat on. Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to really savor them. As with everything else in this category, moderation is key here!

Be aware that a lot of the chocolate on the market is crap. You need to choose  quality, organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.

Be-aware that Dark chocolates often contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.

So, yes! Dark Chocolate is good for you (and way better than milk chocolate) I substitute all milk chocolate ingredients when baking to dark chocolate to get to the great taste of chocolate and all of the benefits it has to offer!

Switch it up! It’s good for you!

Enjoy!

XoXo

2 thoughts on “Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?

  1. I love dark chocolate as well! But you’re totally right in pointing out that most chocolates have a ton of nasty additives. One in particular that I’m intolerant to is soy lecithin. It makes me really sick and if you pay attention to labels it’s in a ton of chocolate products and peanut butters as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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