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Benefits of Dark Chocolate (not the sugary crap)

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer .

If you buy quality dark chocolate (No. 5 is best) with a high cocoa content, it is quite nutritious. It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals. A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85 % cocoa contains: 11 grams of Fiber
67 % of the RDA for Iron
58 % of the RDA for Magnesium
89% of the RDA for Copper
98 % of the RDA for Manganese
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. The bad news, a 100 gram bar ( 3.5 oz. ) will also have 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar, not something you should consume daily. The copper in dark chocolate helps prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments. The iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia, and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is excellant. The fats are mostly sautrated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturates.

It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikey to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee. Theobromine is a mild stimulant , though not as strong as caffeine. It can, however, help to suppress coughs. Theobromine has been shown to harden tooth enamel also, with proper hygiene practice.

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.

Dark chocolate is good for your heart - studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times a week can help lower your blood pressure. It improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. It also helps reduce your risk of stroke.

Dark chocolate is good for your brain - it increases blood flow to the brain as well as the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function.

Dark chocolate can also have a positive effect on your mood. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA) the same chemical your brain creates when you are falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.

Dark chocolate helps control blood sugar - it helps keep your blood vessles healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body's insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won't cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.

So, my apologies to those of you with food sensitivities. For those of you thinking you may be low on some of the nutrients mentioned above, like copper, this may be an alternative supplement. Besides, it taste good !!

Happy Valentine's Day to All

Comments

It has many great things. Just be aware it can inhibit your thyroid a little and also has some quantity of phytoestrogens, if either thing is a concern for you. :)
 
I put pure cocoa without sugar, about a tsp or so into rice milk or water with some stevia and ice and throw it in Vitamix, sometimes I add other things---I have gotten in habit of doing it every day lately once or twice to deal with some worse fatigue lately.....it helped more notably at first but now not as dramatic and sometimes I think it maybe is having some side effects I don't want but I find benefit as you mention as well. Have been eating dark chocolate for years intuitively. I haven't been able to tolerate coffee well for over 26 years and quit long ago and lately can no longer handle caffeinated tea...so this is sort of my last hurrah
 

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