Chocolate… The world’s most-loved candy. There are numerous amounts of chocolate. Light chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and percentage-based dark chocolate. Seriously who doesn’t love a big hunk of chocolate?? That is why we have put together a list of 8 Amazing nutrition facts about Dark Chocolate. Basically so you can eat that big hunk of chocolate now!
I bet you didn’t know that Dark chocolate is rich in numerous vitamins’, nutrients and antioxidants. All of which benefit you in numerous different ways. For example, Dark chocolate has a wide variety of health benefits that many people are unaware of, we will get into that later. In all actuality Cocoa in its natural state exhibits higher antioxidant capacity than any other known food. Dark chocolate has many Amazing nutrition properties these are only just a few!
Did you know that by eating Dark chocolate daily can help aid in blood pressure reduction as well as cholesterol? Geesh who would have thought? Today I am going to tell you why dark chocolate is recommended by medical doctors and why you should be consuming dark chocolate for health purposes. As well as the amazing nutrition facts about dark chocolate that I’m sure you probably never knew.
Dark Chocolate is packed with Antioxidants
Ok, let’s begin! First and foremost, dark chocolate is to antioxidants like bread is to butter. In other words, you simply can’t have one without the other. I mean you could but what fun would that be, and it’s seriously not healthy. That being said dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are essential to maintain health. Essentially, antioxidants aid in the reduction of damaging or harmful effects of free radicals. In fact, Antioxidants are said to be the best form of fighting off free radicals in your body and many Experts believe that free radicals or oxidative stress in a person’s body can lead to various problems of health such as:
- Heart Disease
This milky yummy goodness contains crazy antioxidants that are called flavanols or flavonoids, and polyphenols both of which I will explain later in this article (it can get complicated). Both of these can assist in Life saving nutrition for your body. Antioxidants are abundant in neutralizing the free radicals from the oxidative stress and prevent the effects that oxidative stress has on the body. Meaning it can assist in keeping you healthy! YAY!!
What are Flavanoids?
To put it to you straight flavonoids are the color properties found in fruits and veggies. The properties of flavonoids, phytonutrients, and carotenoids make up the color of the fruits and vegetables.
( Oh gosh that sounds complex)
Essentially, there are many types of flavonoids but the best known are quercetin and kaempferol. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and immune properties.
Many researchers suggest that flavonoid consumption can contribute to 25% of the morbidity and mortality rates among cancer and heart disease patients. By consuming flavonoids, it can also contribute to weight loss. In turn, it can relieve inflammations and decrease an appetite-suppressing hormone that is called Leptin.
This is produced in the stomach. Flavonoids have numerous life-changing qualities. So what I’m saying is by consuming more flavonoids is definitely beneficial for your health and your taste buds!
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols also occur in plants and like flavonoids they are in the same family that make up fruits and vegetables. You can also find polyphenols in alot of different things like the ones listed below:
- Seed Oils
These can also be found in many of the spices and seasonings that you use daily. The crazy thing about Polyphenols is that it is known to influence gut health as well. Researchers have noted that polyphenols can lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. In that respect, polyphenols slow down the rate at which your body absorbs sugar and boost insulin sensitivity. If you know anything about diabetes you know that this is an EXCELLENT thing!
As with Flavonoids consuming polyphenols is very beneficial for many health reasons. I could go on, but I want to get to the good part!
Dark Chocolate Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
If your a nurse that is reading this you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death in America? If not then maybe that fact came as a shock to you. Many American’s suffer from heart disease without even knowing it. Essentially that is why it is known as the hidden epidemic that plagues America.
Let me share something interesting with you! I recently read a review study that was conducted on two different groups. With the consumption of dark, these two groups had two things in common, each member had been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia). Keep in mind that tests were conducted prior to the trial period. Testing included things such as LDL (cholesterol levels) as well as a baseline blood pressure.
During this study, two different groups were given two different kinds of chocolate. The first group of participants was given white chocolate and the second group was given dark chocolate. These two groups were to consume a ½ ounce each day. At the conclusion of the study, the group that had consumed the dark chocolate had significantly lower blood pressure, and their cholesterol levels had also decreased.
There was no evidence that suggested that these people have participated in any other lifestyle changes so the results were clear. Dark chocolate consumption on a daily basis proved to be highly beneficial. You can read more about that here!
Dark Chocolate can help improve Mood and Cognition
Wondering how to get a quick boost of mental clarity right before an important exam? Eat a square of dark chocolate and let the brain-boosting benefits that it has in it to help get you through. It also helps for a quick mood booster. Dark chocolate is known to stimulate endorphins which aid in enhancing mood.
Pretend you its that time of month if you will. What is it most you crave? Salt? HAHA! Heck no! I know that when its getting “that time” I crave a piece of chocolate. Now, I love dark chocolate so to me that is what I reach for. But, many people don’t generally crave dark chocolate do they? As such I may be crazy but dark chocolate gets my spirits up real quick!
I guess we can thank dark chocolate for boosting our moods because well wouldn’t you know, it has serotonin in it! Yep, you got it! Serotonin is actually a hormone that is produced in the brain to assist in effective mood stabilization! YES!! Serotonin can help elevate mood if eaten in moderation (yes I said in moderation).
To make it even more amazing Dark chocolate can increase memory. So. I am guessing that if I eat a piece of chocolate before I go to the store I wont forget a thing! Yes! Like that! Oh its so wonderful isn’t it!
Does Dark Chocolate Contain Minerals?
Dark chocolate comes in a wide variety of cocoa content between 70-85%. And you can purchase these pretty much anywhere! The higher the cocoa content the more nutritious the chocolate is Check out the stats below and see for yourself!
Amounts Per Selected Serving
- Calcium- 73.7 mg DV- 7%
- Iron 12mg DV- 67%
- Magnesium- 230 mg DV-58%
- Phosphorus- 311 mg DV- 31%
- Potassium- 722 mg DV-21%
- Sodium- 20.2 mg DV- 1%
- Zinc 3.3 mg DV- 22%
- Copper 1.8 mg DV- 89%
- Manganese 2.0 mg DV- 98%
- Selenium 6.9 mcg DV- 10%
Dark Chocolate Contains Caffeine
Say what?? Who would have thought! It is a proven fact that nearly 90% of Americans consume caffeine in some form on daily basis. Like I’m running off caffeine these days. Just saying. Whether it be from coffee, an energy drink or even Iced tea. It’s a proven fact that we the people just “NEED” caffeine. Plain and simple. Dark chocolate has a total of 83% of the caffeine in it! 83% can you believe that??!! That means two squares of Dark chocolate in the morning before work can give you …
3.Your antioxidants for the day
So…grabbing a square or two of dark chocolate in the AM is sure to boost your mood! Heck, you can even ask for Dark chocolate in your coffee nowadays! How brilliant is that!!
Dark Chocolate can curb your appetite
Dark chocolate has an appetite suppressant in its all-natural properties. Due to the flavanols in the dark chocolate, eating a square that is low in sugar content can curb your appetite and keep you from reaching for more food. Scientists say that by eating one small square 20 minutes prior to eating a meal it triggers your brain to release the hormones that tell you “I’m full!” Which in turn makes you eat less. WIN-WIN!!
So… now you know the benefits of dark chocolate and the reasons why so many Americans choose to eat this AMAZING chocolate. It has wonderful health benefits for you and your body! Why wouldn’t you reach for a square!!