October 5, 2022
Wellness, Health & Fitness

Does dark chocolate actually have health benefits?

  • August 19, 2022
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Does dark chocolate actually have health benefits?

Let’s face it: One of life’s most delicious indulgences is chocolate. No matter how you consume it, whether as a candy bar, a hot beverage, or a drizzle over ice cream, chocolate is a happy food.
Although it is wonderful, not all chocolate is healthy or even chocolate at all. For instance, white chocolate doesn’t have any cocoa solids. That indicates that it is mostly a dessert.

Nutritional Value Dark Chocolate

100 grams of Dark Chocolate having 70-85% cacao content 

  • Calories: 604
  • Carbohydrates: 46.36 g
  • Dietary fibre: 11.00 g
  • Sugar: 24.23 g
  • Fat: 43.06 g
  • Protein: 7.87 g
  • Iron: 12.02 mg
  • Magnesium: 230.00 mg
  • Zinc: 3.34 mg

Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Cocoa is rich in flavanols, which are plant chemicals that are great for health. The unique flavan-3-ols in cacao beans are what gives pure cocoa a bitter taste.Because cocoa’s flavanols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free-radical scavenging properties — and dark chocolate has a high concentration of cocoa — it might help to:

Protect Your Heart

Studies conducted independently have suggested that dark chocolate may provide a variety of advantages that, when taken together, may protect against cardiovascular disease. In addition to having antithrombotic and antihypertensive qualities that can help avoid blood clots and reduce blood pressure, dark chocolate also has anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory benefits. More research is required to confirm that these impacts might all interact in this manner.

Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

The types of flavanols present in dark chocolate have been shown to reduce risk factors associated with insulin resistance. These positive effects against insulin resistance may reduce the risk of diabetes in the long run.

Lower Blood Pressure

Studies suggest that dark chocolate may have a positive effect on reducing blood pressure. Endothelial cells, which create a thin membrane inside the heart and blood vessels, help control the vascular system and keep your body’s blood flowing. In the study, people who ate dark chocolate for a week saw increased endothelial function and lower blood pressure.

Improve Vision

Early tests showed that people who ate dark chocolate had improved vision two hours after eating the chocolate, compared to people who ate milk chocolate instead. While dark chocolate might offer temporarily improved vision, more tests are need to determine how long that boost might last or how helpful it might be in the real world.

How is Dark Chocolate different from other varieties of chocolates?

The process of producing this chocolate differs slightly from the rest. Though the ingredients used are the same as its other variants, that is, cocoa liquor, milk powder and sugar, the quantities may vary.

As in, Dark Chocolate generally comprises a higher percentage of Cocoa content that can range anywhere from 30 to 85%. This is the primary distinction between Dark, Milk and White chocolate making it a bittersweet concoction.

Side Effects of Dark Chocolate

A 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa provides about 20-25 mg of caffeine. Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can increase caffeine levels in blood, causing increased heart rate, nausea, dehydration and insomnia.

Approximately 30-60 grams of dark chocolate per day is recommended quantity to be healthy. Also, people having diabetes can consult their doctor before planning to consume daily. 

Precautions

  • Pregnancy- Dark chocolate can be consumed in moderation. Eating an excessive amount of dark chocolate can increase caffeine intake which can be unsafe for the foetus. Higher caffeine content can cause various issues like premature delivery, low birth weight and even lead to miscarriage. It is better to watch the quantity of your consumption. Consult a doctor and abide by the suggested quantity. 
  • Breastfeeding- Mothers breastfeeding infants must be careful about their Dark Chocolate consumption. The caffeine in dark chocolate can transfer from the mother to the nursing baby and cause insomnia, restlessness and even rashes. 
  • Bleeding Disorders- Consuming a lot of dark chocolate can also lead to the risk of slowing down the blood clotting process. It can be dangerous for people who have bleeding disorders or haemophilia. 
  • Palpitation- The cocoa present in Dark Chocolate can increase pulse rate and spike blood pressure if consumed in a rather large quantity.


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Kelly Johnson

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