Wouldn’t it be a dream to find out that there can be a type of chocolate that’s actually healthy?
When we think of healthy food, chocolate might not even make our list. But research has shown that dark chocolate can be a heart-healthy treat when it is not loaded with sugar and saturated fat.
“Dark” chocolate is classified when it contains at least 50% cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The more cocoa solids – the darker the chocolate – the more possible health benefits.
At the core, milk chocolate and dark chocolate have similar ingredients but only differ in the percentage of cocoa solids.
“Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols”
A flavonoid called flavanol is found in plants such as the cacao tree, which are used to make chocolate. These cacao beans are fermented, roasted, and produce what we call “Cocoa Beans”.
So what does that mean? It means that what we consider as Dark Chocolate actually contains two to three times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids as compared to other types of chocolate.
Flavanols are linked to the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes our blood vessels and improves blood flow which consequently lowers blood pressure. An improved blood flow means protection from heart disease, and is also good for better cognition.
Moreover, dark chocolate is packed full of important minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus. When compared to other sweets, dark chocolate is high in fiber. And if that wasn’t enough, the anti-oxidants in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the skin and protect is from sun damage!
Now, isn’t that the good news we all wanted to hear about chocolate?