6 MORE REASONS TO EAT DARK CHOCOLATE6 MORE REASONS TO EAT DARK CHOCOLATE https://delphineremy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Fotolia_142610203_Subscription_XL-1024x1024.jpg 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach https://delphineremy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Fotolia_142610203_Subscription_XL-1024x1024.jpg
Not that we need a reason to eat dark chocolate in the first place, but did you know that true forms of dark chocolate are often referred to as “superfoods” and can be quite healthy for you? But let me be clear, not all chocolate is created equal. In fact, most chocolate is processed, artificially sweetened and holds little to no nutritional value, but chocolate lovers like myself, can rejoice in knowing dark chocolate is loaded with healthy antioxidants and carries quite the list of impressive health benefits. Let’s begin with a little quiz to challenge what you think you know about chocolate.
1.Which chocolate is the healthiest?
☐ White ☐ Milk ☐ Dark
Dark chocolate has the most flavonoids. These flavonoids act like antioxidants and help lower blood pressure and control cholesterol levels. The higher the percentage of raw cocoa, the more flavonoids the chocolate has.
2. Chocolate was believed to be so powerful that at one point nuns were not allow to indulge.
☐ True ☐ False
Chocolate is quite aphrodisiac. Nuns were prohibited from eating it because it was thought to be so romantically potent.
3. Chocolate is associated with what emotion?
☐ Happiness ☐ Anger ☐ Love
While chocolate is traditionally gifted as a romantic gesture, chocolate is more associated with happiness. Chocolate stimulates the brain to produce opioids, which give you a high feeling of happiness similar to feeling in love.
4. Chocolate has caffeine.
☐ True ☐ False
But not as much as you think. You would need to eat 4 bars of dark chocolate (or 14 bars of milk chocolate) to equate the same amount of caffeine found in one cup of coffee.
5. Doctors used chocolate to treat…?
☐ Headaches ☐ Tuberculosis ☐ High fever
ANSWER: High Fever
Aztecs used it to treat fever and seizures.
5. Eating too much chocolate can cause what side effect?
☐ Acne ☐ Migraine
Dark Chocolate Protects Against Disease-Causing Free Radicals
Free-radicals are atomic compounds that are highly reactive with other cellular structures in the body because they contain unpaired electrons. Free-radicals seek out other electrons to complete the pair and once formed can cause damage to cells and DNA causing degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes and joint disease.
Flavonoids and polyphenols are two types of antioxidants that safely interact with free radicals and neutralize them before vital molecules can be damaged. The only problem is the body cannot manufacture antioxidants. These micronutrients must be supplied in a diet. So where can I find an abundant source of antioxidants? DARK CHOCOLATE.
Other food with high levels of antioxidants include goji berries, pecans, blueberries, blackberries, artichokes and cilantro.
Dark Chocolate can Prevent Cancer!
That’s right — dark chocolate is a potential cancer-fighting food. The flavonoids mentioned above are powerful cancer-fighting agents. A number of research has found a direct link between certain flavonols, the main type of flavonoid found dark chocolate, and the beneficial effect on cardiovascular function, improved cholesterol, lowered blood pressure and cancer prevention.
Improve Heart Health
According to research study performed at the Cleveland Clinic, the flavanols in cocoa have a very positive effect on heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart. Flavanols also help make blood platelets less sticky which helps reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke and fight cell damage.
The cocoa butter found in dark chocolate contains similar amounts of oleic acid, stearic and palmitic acids found in olive oil. Yes, stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat, but research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, which means it doesn’t raise it or lower it. However, the palmitic acid in dark chocolate has been know to increase cholesterol levels. Dark Chocolate is still a sweet and should be eaten in moderation.
Other studies have concluded that:
The cocoa polyphenols found in dark chocolate may be involved in cholesterol control.
A three-week consumption of dark chocolate can increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
15-day consumption of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate resulted in total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreases of 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.
Seven-day consumption of regular dark chocolate resulted in a 6 percent decrease of LDL cholesterol and a 9 percent increase of HDL cholesterol.
Better Cognitive Function
The flavanol antioxidants found in dark chocolate can also regulate moods, alleviate feelings of depression all while sharpening your focus and cognitive brain function. Eating a small bite of dark chocolate can increase blood flow to the cerebral gray matter preventing degenerative diseases such as dementia.
and Reduces Blood Pressure and Aids Blood Sugar!
There is a surprisingly amount of research and data that supports the health benefits mentioned above. Eating just under an oz of dark chocolate that is at least 50 – 70% pure cocoa daily has been noted as a proven true blood pressure reduced. If you are someone who suffers from diabetes, the higher cocoa content may be a bonus but I would not advise eating dark chocolate daily. Consider other plant-based alternatives such as leafy greens , berries, bananas, etc as an effective means to reduce high blood pressure.
In the end I suppose we’ve listed more than 6 reasons to indulge in bite or two of dark chocolate but be sure to always choose a healthy option and enjoy in moderation (one ounce per day).
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