If you love dark chocolate for its taste, there are many more reasons why you should love it even more. It is packed with so many nutrients that you will want to enjoy it more often.

Dark chocolate is packed with a wide range of nutrients. It is rich in fiber and can almost meet your daily requirement of so many types of minerals.

Whether you are young or old, make sure to add some dark chocolate to your diet once in a week.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Nutritional Value

Just 100g of dark chocolate that has 80% of cocoa gives you the following nutrients:

  • Fiber – 11g
  • Iron – 67% of RDA
  • Manganese – 98%
  • Copper – 89%
  • Magnesium – 58%

It is also packed with potassium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.

But we don’t recommend taking 100g of chocolate. You should limit the amount of dark chocolate you take because it has hundreds of calories too.

The main health benefits of dark chocolate are elaborated in this guide, so that you can take advantage of it:

1. Lowering Blood Pressure

According to Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD of the University of Cologne, dark chocolate is helpful in lowering high blood pressure. But you must manage how much chocolate you consume.

2. Raises Good Cholesterol Levels

Dark chocolate is also great for your heart. A study shows that cocoa powder can help lower your oxidized LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol is bad for your heart. Oxidized LDL is even worse because it has reacted with harmful free radicals.

3. Powerful Antioxidants

Raw cocoa beans have one of the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). It can fight free radicals much more effectively than most other foods.

Dark chocolate is packed with nutrients that work as powerful antioxidants. The best examples include:

  • Flavonols
  • Polyphenols
  • Catechins

In fact, one study has claimed that cocoa has more antioxidant power than acai berries and blueberries which are usually known as the champions of antioxidants.

4. Stronger Teeth

There is widespread misconception that chocolate can destroy your teeth faster. The truth is the very opposite. Cocoa is a powerful teeth protecting food.

The husks of cocoa beans are rich in antibacterial compounds that slow down plaque and biofilm formation. This prevents the bacteria from thriving and creating cavities.

According to a study in which children were allowed not to brush for 4 days, rinsing with cocoa-based mouthwash helped in reducing plaque by almost 50%. The researchers found that almost 21% bacteria were killed.

Dark ChocolateImage Source

5. Reducing Cravings

Surprisingly dark chocolate is also a weight loss food. Cocoa is a packed with proteins and fiber (8g proteins and 4g fiber in a standard bar), which makes it a quite filling food.

According to a study in the Netherlands, subjects who smelled 85% dark chocolate experienced drop in their appetite by up to 50%. The researchers concluded that, dark chocolate helps in stimulating ghrelin (an anti-hunger hormone). The affect of smelling it remains there for up to 60 minutes.

6. Helps Improve Your Focus

Dark chocolate also helps in improving your blood circulation, especially to the brain. This further helps boost your focus.

According to a study, when subjects were given small amounts of cocoa for 5 days, their blood circulation to brain improved.

7. Reduced Anxiety

Dark chocolate is also a great food for fighting stress. According to a 2009 study, when people were given 1 oz chocolate daily for 2 weeks, their cortisol levels were reduced.

A 2010 study, conducted over 30 days, found that those who took cocoa everyday experienced 10% reduction in their anxiety levels. They claimed feeling calmer than before.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/health-benefits-dark-chocolate