5 Reasons Dark Chocolate is a Must-Have for Your Kitchen
Dark chocolate is all the rage these days – and for all the good reasons. It’s packed with nutrients that can have a major positive impact on your mind and body.
Unlike its popular sugary counterpart, dark chocolate is primarily made of the seed derived from the cocoa tree.
Dark chocolate has been scientifically proven to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the planet. In fact, one study showed that dark chocolate and cocoa contained more antioxidant activity, flavanols and polyphenols than blueberries and acai berries.
If you find yourself craving for chocolate, having a piece of dark chocolate with some berries can definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep reading to find out why dark chocolate is a popular choice among health enthusiasts:
Dark chocolate can lift your mood and even prevent depression
Dark chocolate naturally consists of a compound called theobromine, which is structurally similar to caffeine. When consumed regularly, theobromine can help reduce high blood pressure and provide the body with much needed positive energy.
In addition, dark chocolate contains phenethylamine, which when consumed, is metabolized in the body to form serotonin – a mood regulating chemical.
Dark chocolate can help you during pregnancy
Studies show that dark chocolate can help improve fetal growth. Some mothers may be susceptible to preeclampsia as a result of restricted blood supply to the fetus. This generally occurs due to high blood pressure, which normally takes place during pregnancy.
One study shows that consuming dark chocolate regularly may reduce risk of preeclampsia among expecting mothers by lowering their blood pressure.
Dark chocolate can help with weight loss
According to a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, regular consumption of dark chocolate is linked to a healthier BMI.
The study was conducted among 1,018 women and men aged 20-85. Participants consumed dark chocolate twice per week and exercised 3.5 times a week. Their mood, activity and food intake were factored in as well. At the end of the experiment, researchers found a substantial link between the consumption of dark chocolate and achieving a lower BMI.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavor and nutrients and has lower sugar content. Since milk chocolate is high in sugar, fat and carbs, it triggers consumers to overeat, thereby massively increasing their overall calorie intake. Dark chocolate acts as an excellent sugar craving suppressant that keeps you satiated with just a small piece.
Dark chocolate boosts brain power
Whether you have a meeting or are struggling with last minute projects, one study found that eating a piece of dark chocolate can give you brain a quick boost by increasing your alertness, your mood and focus.
Flavanols, a major component in dark chocolate, dilates your blood vessels and increases oxygen and blood supply to vital parts of your brain. This helps you fight tiredness and stress and power through projects, workouts and meetings like a breeze.
Dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation
When dark chocolate enters your body, the good bacteria in your gut begin to consume and ferment it, the by-products of which include anti-inflammatory compounds that boost your heart health. According to one study, the fiber and antioxidants found in cocoa are only completely digested in colon, where they are absorbed in the body and have anti-inflammatory effects, which could intern reduce cardiovascular tissue inflammation and even reduce risk of stroke.
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