The health benefits of dark chocolate give you every excuse to enjoy it


If you are a chocolate lover like me, you are probably looking for some excuse to delve into your greatest guilty pleasure. However, there is scientific evidence to show that we don’t have to feel so guilty … not when it’s dark chocolate. I had heard for some time about the benefits of eating dark chocolate, but had no idea that they were as beneficial as they are. I searched a few websites like Fitday, WebMD, and Huffington Post to discover many fascinating facts that make me feel great about eating every bite. Here’s the skinny one:

Health benefits:

Cocoa solids have compounds called flavonoids that are healthy for you because they are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit other molecules from getting oxygen or losing electrons (called oxidation). Oxidation is closely associated with free radical damage, which is why antioxidants are like the hero who breaks through the door and “takes out” the bad guys. Particularly the fight against aging and cancer are the best known and appreciated by those looking for antioxidants. (Thanks Wikipedia).

Looking for foods with a low glycemic index? You have found one! Dark chocolate will not raise your blood sugar level and may even help protect you against type 2 diabetes. Flavonoids are helpful in insulin resistance because they can help your cells function normally and use your body’s insulin the correct way.

As if that wasn’t enough, it provides your brain with improved cognitive function and reduced risk of stroke. Do you know that feeling when you fall in love? That is a chemical that is created in our brain called phenylethylamine (PEA). Guess what … dark chocolate contains that chemical. Seriously! Have you ever bitten off a piece and felt your mood literally change for the better and happier? That’s why. Do you know what else that feeling does? Reduce stress. Stress is something else besides oxidation and free radicals, which are believed to be strongly associated with skin wrinkles. Your guilty pleasure is helping you look younger! I want to be like that chef on TV who yells “bam” after all. This information makes me very happy! Thats not all!

Cocoa solids also contain a chemical compound called theobromine that has been shown to harden tooth enamel. So if you practice proper dental hygiene, you don’t have to worry about breaking your teeth like many other sweets. In addition to hardening tooth enamel, theobromine is known for its ability to help suppress coughs. So when the seasonal cold hits, you’ll know where to turn for extra help after you’ve had your cough syrup. Do you need better nutrition? You will also find high concentrations of some very important vitamins and minerals in cocoa solids, such as potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Those are some very important vitamins and minerals for hair growth, so if you’re missing a few strands on top … eating your favorite guilty pleasure can help.

When you were a kid, did you sing that song, “Butter beans, butter beans, good for your heart?”

Well, replace the butter beans with dark chocolate and you won’t have to sing the flatulent ending to that song. Instead, you can say, “The more you eat it, the more intelligent you will be!” You’ll get better blood flow and help prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots. This is like the super food you’ve been hiding!

So how much should you eat? I know, I know that after reading all that you will want to eat snacks every day; But we must remember that even with all the health benefits, you can get too much of a good thing. The recommendation is a “small amount” three times a week. You would prefer a small amount at least every day, right? Here’s what I’ve learned about dark chocolate from my role as Lindt’s RSVP consultant … when it comes to a premium product, you only need a little to be satisfied. I will still eat it every day instead of just three times a week, but I don’t eat a lot every day. I don’t need to! A little goes a long way.

It is recommended that you choose a product that has at least eighty percent cocoa solids. The higher the percentage, the more benefits will be present on the ones you just read. Still, a small profit is better than no profit, so go for the highest percentage that you like best and go with it.

Beauty benefits:

I find it hard to believe that someone “wastes” a good chocolate by not eating it, but there are some beauty tips that say it can do very interesting things. Since we now know the benefits of cocoa solids on the skin, you can make yourself a body scrub with brown sugar, olive oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla. That would smell amazing. Your spouse would probably “dig” it a lot! Worried about UV damage? You could use it as a sunscreen, but I can’t imagine who would! Maybe really rich people? For shinier strands of hair, you can make a hair mask by adding honey and yogurt and basking in the sun for about an hour. Some things just seem to be too difficult to get out once they’re inside me, so I don’t think I’m going to try that.

From a healthy heart to beautiful hair, we’ve reviewed many wonderful reasons to delve into dark chocolate. I hope you have learned some new things like me. Whether you eat it from a chocolate bar or drink it hot from a mug … get out to eat, drink and have fun. I know I will!

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