Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? A Rumor or Fact?

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? A Rumor or Fact?

I love chocolate and I was happy to learn that there are several health benefits of chocolate.  I’m talking about dark chocolate, which is 70% – 85%. cacao.  Is dark chocolate healthy?  Recent scientific research says “Yes!”  What great news!  But the key here is moderation.  

There are many health benefits of dark chocolate.  With milk chocolate, the problem is that it is made with milk.  Milk does neutralize the healthy effects of dark chocolate.  But nowadays, we have found ways to make dark chocolate taste good.

What does make dark chocolate healthy and what are the benefits?

1.  When you eat dark chocolate, it helps lower blood pressure by lowering systolic and diastolic levels.  The cocoa phenols contained in dark chocolate are what makes the difference. It can also reduce the effects of bad (LDL) cholesterol.

2.  Dark chocolate helps the body produce more serotonin.  Serotonin is a chemical that helps us relax and sleep well.  It’s also necessary for feelings of well-being.  Because of this, dark chocolate helps reduce the possibilities of depression.

3.  Dark chocolate healthy?  Yes, as it contains antioxidants.  They rid the blood of “free radicals” that are present in the blood of heart disease patients. A scientific study at Cornell University reports that cocoa contains more antioxidants than red wine or green tea.

4.  Anti-aging benefits from dark chocolate includes all the above – the prevention of heart disease, antioxidants and nitric oxide which balances hormones.

5.  Dark chocolate healthy?  Yes, as it has positive effects on blood sugar.  Dark chocolate can improve and reduce insulin resistance. 

6.  Dark chocolate can help suppress your appetite.  After eating a healthy meal, have a piece of dark chocolate because some of the chemicals in dark chocolate can signal the brain to feel as though you’re finished eating. 

7.  Dark chocolate can strengthen your immune system.  During a lengthy study on the effects of dark chocolate, scientists discovered that the mix of nutrients that are contained in dark chocolate have the ability to help give the immune system a huge boost.

One piece of dark chocolate, 100 grams with over 75% cacao contains at least 10 grams of fiber and almost 70% of the recommended daily amount of Iron.  It also has nearly 60% of the daily amounts for magnesium and almost the entire daily amount for copper and manganese.  It also contains other minerals that are excellent for forming new healthy DNA in your cells.

The dark chocolate I’m talking about here is 70% – 85% cacao, which is different from the common version in stores called cocoa.  Cacao is the raw form of the cacao bean and leaves two products, cacao powder and cocoa butter.  The cocoa that you see in stores is usually made with cocoa that has been heated at an extreme high temperature.  When processed this way, it can destroy most of the natural nutrients and enzymes that the raw cacao would normally have.  Real dark chocolate also has a lot less sugar than milk chocolate.

So, is dark chocolate healthy?  Yes and it’s delicious and has many healthy benefits.  What a great healthy snack!  But as with any healthy fat, use in moderation and Enjoy!

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