The healing powers of dark chocolate

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Not only does chocolate make you feel happier, dark chocolate can be good for your heart and your overall health.

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.

Quality dark chocolate is rich in fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.

Here are just some of the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Lower blood pressure
The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Chocolate intake appears to help improve artery functioning and reduce blood pressure levels.

Improve brain function
A study of healthy volunteers showed that five days of consuming high-flavonol 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.

Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term.

Lower risk of heart disease
Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk for people who consume dark chocolate.

In one study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by 50 per cent over a 15-year period.

Another study revealed that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32 per cent. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect.

Protecting your skin
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.

Do you eat dark chocolate? Would you consider switching to dark chocolate this Easter to improve your health?

Read more at healthline.com

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Written by Ben

17 Comments

Total Comments: 17
  1. 0
    0

    I do eat dark chocolate (70% +) quite frequently as I rather like the bitter taste; your article is very welcome as I did not know the benefits. But I still have a higher blood pressure than the doc would like me to have. I do like wine just as much as dark choccies!

  2. 0
    0

    I will be switching, I often see chocolate with cocoa values labelled. Does drinking cocoa as a beverage have the same values?

  3. 0
    0

    Cocoa is the base of all the good properties in proper dark chocolate. Bit bitter on it’s own. 80% cocoa is good. Women seem to prefer milk chocolate much more than dark. Men don’t mind dark. I like dark choc sultana’s. (Where one gets a little sweetness from the sultana’s.

  4. 0
    0

    I won’t cure a fat backside and next week there will be an article telling us it will kill us.

  5. 0
    0

    The studies are very small, and it depends on the rest of your diet. I don’t eat chocolate because I gave up all stimulants. There are better things for your heart, like a healthy plant based diet.

  6. 0
    0

    Much prefer dark chocolate, find milk chocolate too sweet and even a bit sickly. Luckily more and more items are coming with a choice of dark or milk chocolate – was quite rare at one time.

  7. 0
    0

    Chocolate is usually associated with sweet ingredients, adds an angel’s touch to luscious desserts, but why limit it this way—when small quantities of dark chocolate can add silkiness and complexity to a range of meat dishes from beef casserole to braised poultry – check the web for recipes: ‘chocolate with meat’. You’ll be surprised, in a good way, and your taste buds and your nerve, muscle and cardiac cells will thank you for the ant-oxidant boost.

  8. 0
    0

    I have been eating Cadbury’s Old Jamaica and Almond dark chocolates for years. I am 68 and have normal blood pressure.

  9. 0
    0

    Yes, dark chocolate is good for you.
    And it’s even better for the cows who get
    to keep their babies (calves).

  10. 0
    0

    I wasn’t a fan of chocolate until the dark variety emerged & that is my preference. ( in small quantities) I am no binger.

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