Surprising benefits of dark chocolate

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What are the benefits of dark chocolate? This guide will show you how your favorite treat may be surprisingly healthy.

When considering the benefits of eating healthy, few people will think of chocolate as a source of nutrition.

However, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and minerals. The main ingredient in chocolate is cacao, which, in addition to antioxidants, contains minerals such as fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and potassium. Chocolate becomes unhealthy the less “dark” it is due to the addition of milk, sugar, and butter, which damage your health and weaken the benefits of cacao.

Dark chocolate cacao

Dark chocolate should be made of at least 70% cacao in order to be nutritious

In order for dark chocolate to be beneficial, it must be at least 70% cacao.

Health benefits of dark chocolate:

Cacao, and consequently dark chocolate, contains powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids. They can lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol by decreasing oxidation, which helps prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries. These flavonoids are also thought to protect your skin from sun damage, and increase the skin’s hydration.

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Studies on the benefits of dark chocolate have shown that it can be used to fight stress. Eating dark chocolate can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Due to the organic compounds contained in cacao, dark chocolate can also improve improve blood flow, and therefore lower blood pressure.

On that same note, dark chocolate can also improve your mood. In many studies, dark chocolate has been associated with elevated serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.

benefits of dark chocolate

New studies show that eating dark chocolate is actually beneficial

Although dark chocolate is much more healthy than milk chocolate, it should still be consumed in moderation due to its calorie count and necessary addition of sugar to contrast its bitter taste.

Dark chocolate lovers around the world can relax knowing their favorite treat is not only delicious, but surprisingly nutritious as well.

Images via Shutterstock

RACHEL MANIQUIS

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