Dark chocolate has earned a bad reputation for being unhealthy and loaded with processed sugars. Unfortunately this is the case for most generic dark chocolates, however raw organic dark chocolate has many surprising health benefits. The reason why organic dark chocolate is the best is because nowadays the cacao beans are roasted, chemicals and sugar are added into the mix in order to make the chocolate we now know, losing many of its health benefits. Raw cacao is filled with essential vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants. It can be a great healthy snack to have after a meal which you can feel good about, of course moderation is key you don’t wat to eat a whole bar in one sitting but a couple of squares will do you well
Dark chocolate contains several compounds that possess antioxidant properties, such as flavanols and polyphenols. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress refers to the damage that excessive amounts of free radicals can inflict on cells and tissues in the body.
Oxidative stress contributes to the natural aging process. Over time, the effects of oxidative stress may also contribute to the development of a variety of diseases, such as:
- heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- eye disease
Reduces Blood Pressure and Combats Cholesterol
Regularly eating dark chocolate may help reduce a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease. Some of the compounds in dark chocolate, specifically flavanols, affect two major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The flavanols in dark chocolate stimulate nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate, or widen, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
Dark chocolate also contains certain compounds, such as polyphenols and theobromine, that may lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body and increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Doctors often refer to LDL cholesterol as “bad cholesterol” and HDL cholesterol as “good cholesterol.”
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response to germs and other harmful substances. However, chronic inflammation can cause damage to cells and tissues and may increase the risk of some health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
Dark chocolate contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
May Improve Cognition and Prevent Memory Loss
Eating dark chocolate may improve brain function and help prevent neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Improvements in brain health are due to the high levels of flavonoids in dark chocolate, which accumulate in regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
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