Studies have proven that dark chocolate does a lot of good to your health. Don’t believe us? Read on and you’ll want to buy that bar right away!
1. It helps lower blood pressure
Dark chocolate bars that have cocoa content of anywhere between 50 and
70 per cent help lower blood pressure. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, having one tiny slab—about 30 calories—of dark chocolate every day helped lower blood pressure without the side effects of weight gain.
2. Keeps diabetes in check
An Italian study discovered that its participants who were given a tiny bar of dark chocolate every day for a fortnight showed significant improvement in insulin sensitivity and decrease in fasting glucose levels. Of course, it is important that one doesn’t go overboard with the quantity and look for bars that contain at least 70 per cent cocoa of more.
3. Helps prevent heart attack and stroke
A 2012 Australian study revealed that eating dark chocolate regularly can help prevent a heart attack and significantly reduce the risk of a stroke. Another study that predated the Australian research tracked 20,000 people over a span of eight years and discovered that those having just a tiny square of dark chocolate every day had a 39 per cent less chance of suffering a stroke and a heart attack.
4. It helps with your cholesterol levels too
Dark chocolate helps raise HDL or high-density lipoproteins (the ‘good cholesterol’). Cocoa is also a great anti-oxidant and it’s been proven that cocoa powder helps decreased oxidized LDL or the bad cholesterol in men. But it is
crucial that you select the right kind of dark chocolate. Do not opt for a dark chocolate that has sugar as the first ingredient in the list. Instead buy one that lists the cocoa ingredient first, which means it has cocoa than sugar.
5. Improves brain function
Cocoa contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, which can
help improve the functioning of the brain, if only for a short time.
In yet another study, participants showed that consuming cocoa for just five days helped improve blood flow to the brain. Cocoa is also known to help improve cognitive functions and verbal fluency.
Even as dark chocolate remains an unsung hero for your health, we cannot stress enough on how important it is to not go overboard with it. When you are buying a dark chocolate, ensure it has high cocoa content and low sugar content. A rule of thumb is that dark chocolates with more than 70 per cent cocoa content are the best. Finally, despite its benefits, dark chocolate, like everything else, only works its magic when had in moderation. So don’t finish off an entire bar in
a single sitting. That will most definitely will not do you any good.