14 Proven Health Benefits of Bitter Chocolate that you need know. Moreover, the Chocolate contains properties beneficial for prevent and fight various diseases. Then, check the benefits of Chocolate for health. Like to know what the benefits of Chocolate are? Know the properties of Chocolate: main benefits, nutrients, vitamins and origin. If you’re a fan of the sweet stuff, you’ll probably jump for joy at this delicious finding: Research suggests that regular Chocolate eaters may more frequently have lower BMIs.
Before you reach for that Snickers, remember this: While Chocolate can do the body good, the study certainly doesn’t go as far as proving a causal link between eating more Chocolate and losing weight. Keep in mind that all Chocolate was not created equal: Dark Chocolate packs more of a health punch overall, but even the bittersweet varieties can be high in calories, fat and sugar.
What Sort of Chocolate is Best?
Generally, the darker the Chocolate (look for 70% and above cocoa), the higher the flavonoid content. Flavonoids are found in foods like broccoli, onions, fruit, as well as tea, and may help protect people against some types of cancer and heart disease.
Ceitanna Cooper says: “It’s most likely that you get more flavonoids in a dark Chocolate that lists cocoa beans, cacao, Chocolate liquor or cocoa mass on its ingredients list, so check the label. Milk Chocolate tends to have very few flavonoids and white Chocolate has none.” Then check out the 14 Proven Health Benefits of Bitter Chocolate:
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate for Heart Health: Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate. According to Cleveland Clinic, research has shown that flavanols have a very positive effect on heart health by helping lower blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart as well as the brain. Dark chocolates flavanols can also help make blood platelets less sticky and able to clot, which reduces the risk of blood clots and stroke.
A study published in International Journal of Cardiology had subjects either consume a daily dose of flavonoid-rich dark Chocolate or non-flavonoid white Chocolate for two weeks. The results showed that flavonoid-rich dark Chocolate intake significantly improved heart circulation in healthy adults. On the other hand, white Chocolate with zero flavonoids to brag about had no positive health effects on the subjects.
Another study published in 2015 titled followed the health of over 20,000 people for 11 years. The study concluded that “cumulative evidence suggests that higher Chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events” and that “there does not appear to be any evidence to say that Chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk.”
Among subjects who consumed the most chocolate, 12 percent developed or died of cardiovascular disease during the study compared to 17.4 percent of those who didn’t eat chocolate. This doesn’t give anyone license to eat a Chocolate bar each day, but it’s impressive that this large and lengthy study does appear to show a positive connection between Chocolate consumption and heart health.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate to Fight Cough: Normally you take an aspirin to help prevent blood clotting and to improve circulation. Studies now show that Chocolate can have a similar effect.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate for Health of Mothers and Babies: A Finnish study found that Chocolate reduced stress in expectant mothers, and that the babies of such mothers smiled more often than the offspring of non-chocolate-eating parents.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure: The flavanols in dark Chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), which is a gas. One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.
There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark Chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild. However, there is also one study in people with elevated blood pressure that showed no effect, so take all this with a grain of salt.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate Against Free Radicals: One of my favorite benefits of dark Chocolate is its free radical fighting ability. Free radicals are unbalanced compounds created by cellular processes in the body, especially those that fight against environmental toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Antioxidants are the compounds that are believed to neutralize free radicals and protect the body from their damage.
Antioxidants include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals — helpful plant compounds. One of dark chocolate’s most impressive attributes is its high antioxidant content, which is why it made my list of top 10 high-antioxidant foods.
Two groups of antioxidants prevalent in dark Chocolate are flavonoids and polyphenols. Dark chocolate’s cocoa has actually been shown to have the highest content of polyphenols and flavonoids, even greater than wine and tea. So the higher the cacao/cocoa percentage of your next dark Chocolate bar, the more awesome antioxidants you’ll consume.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate To Help With Your Training: Another magical flavanol in Chocolate is epicatechin. Mice were given this substance and they were much fitter and stronger than those mice on water only. Researchers say that to get the best results from your workout you have to limit the amount to only about half of one square of Chocolate a day! If you have too much, it could undo the beneficial effects.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate Being Rich in Minerals: Dark Chocolate is packed with beneficial minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium, and a 100g bar of dark (70 per cent or more) choc provides 67 per cent of the RDA of iron.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate Being Rich in Antioxidant Source: Have you ever heard of a measure called ORAC? ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. Basically, researchers pit a bunch of free radicals (bad) against a sample of food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can “disarm” them.
The biological relevance of this metric is questioned, because it’s done in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body. However, I think it is worth mentioning that raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest scoring foods that have been tested.
Dark Chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. One study showed that cocoa and dark Chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included blueberries and Acai berries
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate To Improve Vision: University of Reading researchers were curious to see if dark Chocolate flavanols could actually improve vision as they knew it certainly improved blood circulation in general. They decided to do a small experiment and gave two groups of volunteers some white and dark chocolate. The dark Chocolate groups were doing better on vision tests afterwards.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate To Improve Vision: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
As a Chocolate lover I would also add that certain kinds of Chocolate can be good for the soul: this is Chocolate for which the raw materials have been grown with care by farmers who are properly rewarded for their work; then processed by people who take time and care in their work, and finished by chocolatiers who love what they do. It will not be mass-produced, and it may not be cheap. But it will be good for you, heart and soul.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate To Protect 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. The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin, 24 hours after exposure.
In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark Chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks. If you’re planning on a beach vacation, consider loading up on dark Chocolate in the prior weeks and months.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate To Help People With Alzheimer’s: As we know, the nerve pathways to the brain get damaged when Alzheimer’s disease strikes, causing severe loss in certain mental functions. It is fascinating to read about how one extract from cocoa, called lavado, can actually reduce the damage done to these vital pathways.
Benefits Of Bitter Chocolate To Maintain Brain Health: Flavanols are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflamatory qualities of dark Chocolate have been found beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
Benefits of Bitter Chocolate to Reduce the Risk of Stroke: Researchers in Finland have found that Chocolate consumption lowers the risk of suffering a stroke – by a staggering 17 per cent average in the group of men they tested.