What can we say about chocolate and dark chocolate especially!?!
It dates back since 1500 BC. The Olmec Indians, the Maya and Aztec civilizations were using cocoa beans. Columbus brought it to Spain in the early 1500s after which it spread thought Europe. The beans were grinded and a beverage was made out of them. In 1874, the first chocolate bar was made and in 1929 cocoa powder was being manufactured.
Nowadays it still remains one of the most delicious treats you can have. But is it healthy? How do you choose your chocolate? Do you prefer white chocolate or dark chocolate? Do you like it with peanuts or strawberries?
Normal chocolate contains a lot of sugar so it has a lot of calories. Dark chocolate however, is different. The darker and bitter the chocolate, the less sugar it has.
So next time when you go shopping for this delicious treat, consider asking for a dark chocolate bar instead of your normal chocolate. Here is a list of health benefits of dark chocolate and why you should eat it:
1. Dark chocolate is rich in resveratrol
2. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
Studies have shown that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper which contribute in maintaining a normal blood pressure an a proper heartbeat.
3. Dark chocolate lowers cholesterol
Moderate intake of dark chocolate can reduce bad cholesterol by up to 10 percent.
4. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants
Dark chocolate also contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. These protect your body from cell damage and various diseases.
5. Dark chocolate is good for the heart and for blood circulation
Eating dark chocolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, relaxes the blood vessels and helps in prevention of plaque which can block arteries. Studies also show a reducing risk of heart disease.
6. Dark chocolate is rich in minerals
Copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. All of these are present in dark chocolate. Copper is vital for our heart health and helps the absorption of iron which, in turn, is important for the production of red blood cells and skin collagen. Potassium prevents high blood pressure and strokes, while magnesium may aid in prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
7. Dark chocolate is good for the brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, thus increasing cognitive function. It is also rich in theobromine and has caffeine which stimulates the brain.
8. Dark chocolate releases endorphin
Endorphin gives us the feeling of pleasure and relaxation. This can help in reducing stress. Dark chocolate also contains serotonin which is considered to have anti-depressive effects.
9. Dark chocolate boosts up immunity
Two flavonoids contained in chocolate named Catechins and Epicatechins boost bodyâ€™s immune system. Scientists are still researching this field, taking into account the possibility of dark chocolate helping in chronic ailments such as arthritis.
10. It tastes good…really 🙂
Don’t be afraid to eat it, you might be surprised how good it is. Well, donâ€™t overdue either, but itâ€™s ok to enjoy life a little!