Super Food Week : Dark Chocolate, Go for it!
is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.
Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):
11 grams of fiber.
67% of the RDA for Iron.
58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
89% of the RDA for Copper.
98% of the RDA for Manganese.
Bottom Line: Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
- Dark Chocolate is a Powerful Source of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others.
Bottom Line: Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants, way more than most other foods.
- Dark Chocolate May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure
The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate Raises HDL and Protects LDL Against Oxidation
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease.
In a controlled trial, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men.
Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Dark Chocolate is good for your skin
The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.
The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration
Bottom Line: Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
- Dark Chocolate May Improve Brain Function
The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of the brain.
One study of healthy volunteers showed that 5 days of consuming high-flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease (
Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term