Dark chocolate is the healthiest snack for your heart and blood circulation. It provides various essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it is a morale booster for your dark-cloud days. Read this post by WhichChoose to learn more about dark chocolate benefits!
Dark Chocolate Benefits
1.1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Dark chocolate contains several vitamins and minerals that can support your health, including potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. These are the same minerals that most Americans tend to be deficient in (magnesium and potassium especially) because of conventional farming practices. Based on that logic alone, one could reason that dark chocolate is necessary for any nutrient-dense diet.
A couple of squares of dark chocolate daily can provide a significant portion of your recommended daily magnesium intake, an extremely important mineralutilized in nearly every function and tissue in the body. Specifically, magnesium could help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health.
1.2. Brain Health (and Love Enhancer)
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. The Aztec ruler, Montezuma, believed chocolate was an aphrodisiac, hence the original association with Valentine’s Day and chocolate presents. That’s also the reason why I used to hand out chocolate bars in my college women’s studies class.
Ever wonder why you turn to the pint of chocolate Haagen Daaz after a rough day or breakup? PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier, even if you just got dumped.
Additionally, dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain and heart, so it can help improve cognitive function and reduce your risk of stroke.
1.3. Prevents sugar cravings
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate is far more filling, offering more of a feeling of satiety than milk chocolate. Even though dark chocolate has far less sugar than its lighter counterpart, it seems that dark chocolate may lessen cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods.
So when you find yourself craving that after-dinner treat, indulging in a bit of healthy dark chocolate can help keep those sugar cravings at bay and your waistline in check.
1.4. Stress Reduction
Swiss scientists found that when very anxious people ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks, their stress hormone levels were significantly reduced and the metabolic effects of stress were partially mitigated.
If more offices would simply ditch the bowls of M&M and mini candy bar dishes and replace them with a dark chocolate bar in every desk, I do believe we’d have far less stress and far more productivity… and far less diabetes.
1.5. It’s Delicious
As if you needed any other reason to indulge guilt free?
Studies show that those that celebrate their food choices, as opposed to those that focus on feelings of guilt, experience more pleasure and are more successful in reaching their weight loss goals.
Practical Application of Dark Chocolate
- Choose dark chocolate with greater than 70% cocoa content for the most nutrient density and associated health benefits. The higher the cocoa content, the less sugar, but alternatively, the more bitter the bar will be.
- The main ingredients, which should be minimal, should include cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and sugar. Avoid products with vegetable or hydrogenated oils.
- Choose companies that produce organic, fair-trade, ethically farmed, and manufactured chocolate that you can enjoy the taste of as well as feel good about supporting.
- When consuming, avoid inhaling the chocolate in a ravenous binge. Rather, try allowing a square to melt between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, thereby savoring the flavors and maximizing the enjoyment while minimizing the desire to eat the entire bar.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for some healthy snacks to raise your mood as well as improve your heart health, dark chocolate is the best choice. It’s rich in antioxidants, fiber, and zinc. It also boosts brain function, helping you focus more on your daily tasks. The dark chocolate benefits are just amazing. WhichChoose hopes you enjoy this post. And let’s give ourselves and loved ones some ‘bars of sweet love’ today!
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