By Victoria Alao
Who doesn’t just love chocolate? I do. And according to scientific studies, chocolate probably loves us back! Numerous studies have shown that apart from the enchanting taste, dark chocolate does you a lot of good!
Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar. Consuming dark chocolate and eating modest quantities may offer the following 5 health benefits:
1. Dark chocolate boosts brain power
High intake of high-quality chocolate enabled improvements of cognitive processing, visual-spatial awareness, abstract reasoning, scanning, working memory and improved Global Composite scores.
A study done by British psychologists shows that the flavonols in chocolate specifically help people with their mental math. During the study, people were tested counting backward on a randomly generated number test before and after drinking a cup of hot cocoa. This means gorging on chocolate before your exam could be a good idea.
2. Dark Chocolate Can Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Dark chocolate has been known to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays, the light emitted by the sun.
The most effective way to reap this effect would be to eat straight cocoa beans. These are often available at health food stores.
If you can’t use raw cocoa, high-quality dark chocolate will still suffice. The flavonols in 85 percent dark chocolate are still present enough to have an effect.
One study measured the minimal erythema dose, a measure that shows how much exposure will begin to negatively affect skin. A high MED is good because it means you need to be exposed to more UV light to take damage.
3. Dark Chocolate Boosts Your Immune System
Dark chocolate’s potent antioxidant content—along with some of the other mechanisms of nutrients—make it a treat for your immune system. Cocoa can modulate the inflammatory response of your immune system. Inflammation is tissue’s response to pathogens, chemicals, wounding, or infections. Flavonoids are generally associated with anti-inflammatory properties and chocolate is filled with them. Cocoa can have a beneficial effect on certain cells that produce antibodies. Antibodies help your body battle bacteria and disease, so regular consumption of chocolate might even save you from getting malaria someday.
4. Dark Chocolate Help to Prevent Heart Disease and Lower the Risk of Stroke
A number of observational studies have shown indulging in dark chocolate on a regular basis may reduce the risk of heart disease. For example, one earlier study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate more than five times a week reduced their risk of heart disease by 57 percent.
Researchers hypothesize it’s the flavonoids in dark chocolate that maintain heart health, per a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These chemicals help produce nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax and blood pressure to lower, noted a review published in March 2017 in the American Journal of Physiology.
5. Dark chocolate Relieves Cough
Dark chocolate is an effective cough suppressant because it is full of antioxidants like catechins, polyphenols, flavonols, theobromine. Some scientists believe it can be more effectual than common cold medicines!
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!