Benefits of Dark Chocolate
It doesn’t take much research to understand why people are so eager to find the health benefits of dark chocolate. After all, it has that slightly sweet and luxurious flavor that makes dessert so special.
Of course, you can’t just eat any chocolate. White chocolate has few to no benefits, depending on who you ask. Milk chocolate has a few more (but that’s not saying much), and dark chocolate has a a tremendous amount of benefits.
What Does Research Say About The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate?
General Science and Research
The Experimental Biology 2012 meeting centered in San Diego shared the same conclusions. Dr. Mee Young Hong, a PHD, decided to examine the differences between dark chocolate and white chocolate in a report published by Web MD.
Ultimately, dark chocolate had the greatest positive impact on your overall health. Several other studies have been conducted and published in publications such as Prevention, Shape, Fitness Magazine, Men’s Health, and others.
In addition to providing specific health benefits, dark chocolate is also particularly good for you because it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the highest concentrations include
While research has not been linked conclusively to this, many doctors suspect that it may help to actually prevent the development of Type II diabetes. Yes, you read that right, dark chocolate may actually help prevent type II diabetes.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Scientists and doctors still aren’t certain why it is that dark chocolate lowers blood sugar levels. Dr. Mee Young Hong suggests that dark chocolate antioxidants might actually cause these results. It was then more possible for the body to respond to the sugar in a more positive fashion than other chocolate products and candies.
The fact that it lowers blood sugar levels is one of the main reasons that doctors believe it may help to prevent the development of Type II diabetes.
Improves the Heart Function
The antioxidants found in dark chocolate not only lower blood sugar levels, they also help to prevent arteriosclerosis. Doctors have found that patients who consume a single serving of dark chocolate two to three times a week saw lowered blood pressure levels as well as lowered blood sugar levels.
They believe that ultimately, this will make such individuals less likely to get blood clots.
Encourages Focused Brain Function
The increased blood flow also benefits the brain. Cognitive functions respond particularly well to dark chocolate antioxidants. The chemical compound phenylethlamine is also present in dark chocolate, and this is the same compound that makes you feel as if you’re falling in love and encourages the production of endorphins. This is why it’s important to eat the chocolate slowly. Savor it!
Working It Into Your Diet
So if you’re rejoicing because you can enjoy some dark chocolate, go ahead and celebrate, but bear in mind these few caveats. You must consume dark chocolate within moderation. You can’t just gorge yourself on it and expect to see positive results. Limit yourself to a few ounces in a single serving. It’s best if you eat it slowly and savor each bite.
More importantly, you need to make sure that it is pure dark chocolate, and without sugar. Don’t get a supposed health bar that has dark chocolate on it. You’d be amazed to realize how unhealthy these supposedly healthy treats can be. Watch out in particular for paraffin and other filler ingredients.
It’s a little more expensive to purchase high quality dark chocolate, but it’s worth it for your health. Organic dark chocolate is some of the best. But make sure to read the ingredients even on these packages as some of them try to mix in dried fruit and other ingredients that actually lower the overall health benefits of the chocolate.
Kathleen Doheny, “Choose Dark Chocolate for Health Benefits,” Web MD, http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120424/pick-dark-chocolate-health-benefits (2012).
“6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate,” Fit Day, http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120424/pick-dark-chocolate-health-benefits (2012).