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