I was really never a fan of chocolate nor chocolate oriented foods and delicacies. I just couldn’t muster the desire for them. However, in researching this much admired and tasty treat I have now become an ardent lover and consumer of this awesome, healthy treat. The ancient Mayan Kings were absolutely crazy about the health and mood lifting perks of cocoa bean. In fact, Montezuma drink as many as fifty elaborate cups of cocoa drink daily. So here are some healthy reasons for indulging in chocolate.
NUTRITIOUS - A 100 gram bar of chocolate with 80+ % cocoa contains 11 g of fiber, 67% RDI IRON, 58% RDI Magnesium, 89 % RDI Copper and 98% RDI Manganese. Just be sure to consume in moderation.
ANTIOXIDANTS - Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. In one study which included blueberries, and acai berries, dark chocolate was found to have polyphenols and flavonoids.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE - Here’s a great one for you. Its flavonoids stimulate the endothelium which line the arteries to produce nitric oxide. One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, lowering the resistance to blood flow and subsequently blood pressure.
HEART DISEASE RISK - The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. In a study with 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by a whopping 50% over a period of 15 years. Amazing!
SKIN PROTECTION - The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate are also great for your skin. Its flavonoids can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and, increase skin density and hydration.
Each night after dinner I enjoy 2-4 squares of dark chocolate as a healthy dessert. Make sure it’s 80% dark or upwards. Try it.