Here’s everything you need to know about treating your health with dark chocolate:
Dark chocolate is a superfood, meaning that it is rich in beneficial nutrients for health and wellbeing. This is because dark chocolate contains around 70-85% cacao. Dark chocolate also has less sugar, milk, and filler ingredients than milk or white chocolate. Accordingly, dark chocolate is an excellent health and wellness tip to add to your daily lifestyle.
Further, the cacao solids give dark chocolate its nutritional value and are rich in antioxidant flavonoids and beneficial minerals. Most chocolate manufacturers don’t measure the flavonol levels – or terpene levels – of their products but do provide basic nutritional information. Additionally, the average 100-gram dark chocolate bar delivers the following nutrition according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Now that you know what that magical bar of rich dark chocolate holds let’s discuss what it can do for your health and wellness. Here are four proven health and wellness tips and benefits of dark chocolate:
The flavonoids in cacao are rich in vital antioxidants that help to protect your cells from toxins, disease, and invasive free radicals. Furthermore, when you eat dark chocolate, your body enjoys a boost of those protective antioxidants. As a result, boosting your immune system and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.
In a study published in 2017, medical researchers discovered evidence that the antioxidants in dark chocolate could even help to reduce the symptoms of serious conditions like diabetes by improving glucose processing. Further research suggests that dark chocolate antioxidants may be powerful enough to protect the body against certain types of cancer, among other chronic conditions.
Inflammation can result from tons of things, from severe medical conditions and allergic reactions to environmental exposure and lifestyle choices. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help to reduce inflammation and prevent it from occurring in the future. Individuals can even use dark chocolate to help with muscle soreness and cramping. Ever wonder why people on their periods often crave chocolate? High levels of magnesium make dark chocolate the perfect treat for relaxing the body and the mind.
It’s no accident enjoying a bar of chocolate puts you in a good mood. Flavonoids help stimulate neural activity and improve neuroplasticity, thereby improving cognition, memory, and mood. According to a University Adventist Health Sciences Center study, just 48 grams of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) can modulate brain frequencies for improved health and mood.
The anti-inflammatory flavonoids found in dark chocolate relax more than just your muscles and mind-they reduce blood pressure and blood vessel size, too! Blood pressure levels begin to decrease when the cocoa flavonoids convert to nitric oxide. This occurs when the flavonoids are converted to nitric oxide, reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Aside from the unique nutritional factors of dark chocolate, cacao also provides a mood-enhancing combination of effects when infused with CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been anecdotally reported to soothe the body’s central nervous system, relieve pain and inflammation, and combat feelings of anxiety. The synergistic effects of cannabis and raw, dark cocoa are often found to be very relaxing and uplifting. CBD-infused dark chocolate has become a much-loved combination and is a perfect afternoon treat to fight off the doldrums.
While dark chocolate is packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it often still contains refined sugar and saturated fat. Eating dark chocolate in moderation may help keep you feeling happy and healthy, but don’t overdo it. If you have a sensitivity to glucose or should be avoiding saturated fats and foods high in carbohydrates, avoid chocolate unless otherwise instructed. You can also choose chocolate that is made with unrefined sugars and more gentle sweeteners as options that have rapidly proliferated in the last year and they will be better for your health.
How much dark chocolate you eat is up to you, but if you want to go with what the experts suggest, we’ve got answers. Based on a study published in the European Heart Journal in 2010, around 6 grams of dark chocolate per day is enough to deliver those health benefits.
If you didn’t think chocolate could get any better, you were wrong! Delicious and the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, dark chocolate delivers a healthy dose of beneficial nutrients your body uses to stay happy and healthy. Remember everything in moderation: you only need a little chocolate each day to enjoy the many benefits.
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