Chocolate: It’s almost everyone’s favorite sweet treat. We crave it daily, we eat it when we are sad and need to indulge, and we give it to special someones to show how much we care.
You can also add chocolate to plenty of recipes to make them even better, like these chewy oatmeal cookies.
Dark chocolate is a special type of chocolate because it contains more unprocessed cocoa, depending on the percentage you buy.
While milk and white chocolate don’t contain as much of cocoa’s natural properties, dark chocolate has them in abundance and they offer plenty of benefits for your body.
But before you run off to have dark chocolate for dinner, keep in mind that it should still be consumed in moderation in order for the good to outweigh the bad.
If eaten within moderation (just one or two pieces a day) dark chocolate can be your body’s best friend — who knew that something so yummy could also be good for you?
Check below to learn about Dark Chocolate benefits!
- Provides Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with good-for-you compounds like polyphenols, flavanols, and catechin, which serve as antioxidants.
These antioxidants protect your body against free radicals that can kill cells and cause damage to the body.
- Protects Your Skin
The aforementioned flavanols in dark chocolate can also improve blood flow and protect your skin against sun damage.
This increases skin density, which will protect your body from harmful UVB rays.
However, chocolate or no, always be sure to apply sunscreen regularly — even in the fall and winter, and even if you don’t plan on being in the sun for very long.
- Helps Your Heart
Those magical flavanols can also stimulate nitric oxide production in the body.
This relaxes the arteries and lowers heart-stressing blood pressure, which lessens the chance of blood clots happening.
- Provides Important Nutrients And Minerals
One or two pieces of dark chocolate every day can deliver a lot of important nutrients and minerals into your body.
According to Authority Nutrition, a 100-gram bar contains 11 grams of fiber, 67 percent of the recommended daily use (RDA) for iron, 58 percent of the RDA for magnesium, and 98 percent of the RDA for manganese.
- Helps You Lose Weight
Since dark chocolate contains fiber, it helps your metabolism keep a regular, healthy pace.
It also reduces inflammation, which can mess with your blood sugar level, and make you feel like you need a snack — and one piece of dark chocolate can help satisfy your cravings in a positive way!
- Improves Brain Function
Since dark chocolate promotes blood flow and fights against free radicals, it is already helping your brain stay strong.
But studies also show that eating it preserves brain function as we age, and helps protect the brain against diseases like dementia.
- Reduces Depression And Anxiety
Who could be stressed when they’re eating dark chocolate? It’s definitely one of the first things I reach for when I’m upset.
It turns out, though, that this is not just a placebo effect: Eating it releases serotonin and endorphins, making you feel happier and calmer.
- Improves Your Eyesight
Those flavanols, what can’t they do? According to Men’s Health, researchers at the University of Reading in England found that the eyesight of people who ate dark chocolate improved 17 percent as opposed to those who ate white chocolate, which has fewer flavanols.
- Reduces Inflammation
The antioxidants in dark chocolate can also help fight inflammation.
This can help regulate your body’s disease-fighting abilities and keep you from putting on weight.
Dark Chocolate Benefit #10: Raises Good Cholesterol
Chocolate doesn’t only help your heart and blood by reducing bad cholesterol, it also promotes good cholesterol.
This will actually help improve circulation in the body rather than slow it down.
- Relieves Coughs
A study was conducted in which cough sufferers were given the the chemical theobromine, which is derived from cocoa, and 60 percent of sufferers reported experiencing cough relief.
Is there anything that this stuff can’t do? We’re definitely stocking up on dark chocolate right away.
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