Most people connect chocolate to sugar and immediately claim that it doesn’t merit a place in a healthy nutrition plan.
That couldn’t be further away from the truth, but there is a twist. The crucial beneficial component of chocolate is cocoa. That is why you should aim to consume only chocolate with high amounts of cocoa. The manufacturers made the selection easier for you by giving the products with a high cocoa amount the simple etiquette – dark chocolate.
In short, you need chocolate in your life as long as it is dark with at least 70% of cocoa. Here is why:
It Is Rich in Nutrients
Just so that you can understand better, let’s say that 100 grams of dark chocolate has a recommended daily amount of manganese and it is also rich in copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. As an added bonus, it also contains 11 grams of fiber which promotes digestion.
Of course, you shouldn’t eat the entire 100-gram chocolate every day because you should consider portion control. One bar or two should be more than enough.
Antioxidant Properties That Boost Immunity
Just like fruits and veggies, cocoa also has plenty of antioxidants that protect your organism and boost the overall immune system. That way they help to prevent deterioration of your organs and keep free radicals from damaging your body.
It Optimizes Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
If you are looking for ways to decrease the risk of developing heart disease, you should consume dark chocolate. According to experts, cocoa has the power to decrease “bad” and increase “good” cholesterol in males thus securing a good balance between the two.
It can also regulate your blood pressure and improve blood circulation. Cocoa stimulates your body’s nitric oxide production, which relaxes your arteries, which enhances blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
While we are on the topic, the statistics show that dark chocolate can decrease the death risk after developing heart disease for over 50 percent in elderly men. Another study shows that adults have reduced the chances of their arteries developing a calcified plaque by over 30%.
Enhances Function of Your Brain
Aside from having positive effects on your body, cocoa also has a beneficial effect on your mind. We mentioned that cocoa enhances blood flow throughout the entire body and that includes your brain. That is why it is believed that dark chocolate can prevent cognitive decline and boost brain function, especially in elderly people.
As an added bonus, cocoa also has a small amount of caffeine, which may boost your focus and concentration.
It Is Good for Your Skin
Last, but not least, cocoa can also have a beneficial effect on your skin. It may act as a protector against sunburns, as well as boost skin’s hydration and density. So, if you are planning to head on a vacation, you may consider eating dark chocolate for a month or two to boost your skin’s ability to get tanned.