Dark chocolate is considered one of the top foods for your brain health and overall mood, plus it’s also loaded with vital nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Dark chocolate might not taste as good as milk chocolate to some people, but you can get used to the taste of it and begin enjoying it as a treat. Trading your milk chocolate bar for some dark chocolate is a much healthier choice.
Dark chocolate is a fantastic source of magnesium and healthy antioxidants, and it improves blood flow to the brain. It is especially beneficial to eat organic dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao. In fact, raw cacao is one of the healthiest plant-based superfoods you can eat.
It is the cacao found in dark chocolate that provides most of the health benefits, so choose dark chocolate with a high concentration of it, such as a chocolate bar that is 70% cocoa or one made using organic cacao. High quality dark chocolate that has a high cacao content will not only provide more health benefits than other types of chocolate, but it will also contain less sugar and less calories.
Just as people are often surprised to hear about the health benefits of red wine, many people are surprised to hear about all of the health benefits of eating chocolate. Eating dark chocolate can reduce stress, improve brain health, and can even help combat the signs of aging. Below are 5 health benefits of consuming dark chocolate:
1. Excellent Source of Magnesium
There are many reasons why it’s important to get magnesium into your diet, and dark chocolate is very rich in magnesium. Dark chocolate contains approximately 65 mg of magnesium in a single 1 ounce (28 gram) serving. That’s over 15% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Getting enough magnesium is said to be good for brain health, mental health, and could even improve your overall mood by regulating dopamine in your brain. Dark chocolate may also help ease menstrual cramps due to its high magnesium content. Magnesium helps relax muscles and may stop the production of compounds that signal cramps.
2. Fantastic Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they protect your brain cells from free radical damage. Free radicals attack your brain cells, but antioxidants can combat and neutralize free radicals.
Antioxidants protect us against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Certain superfoods are known to contain lots of antioxidants. These superfoods include blueberries, acai and kale. The cacao found in quality dark chocolate, however, contains even more antioxidants than these superfoods. That’s because dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins.
3. Dark Chocolate Promotes Better Skin Health
Eating dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa has multiple beauty benefits. It can boost your skin’s moisture, nourish your skin, protect your skin from sun damage and diminish the look of wrinkles. These beauty benefits are due to dark chocolate’s content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao is rich in vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, plus iron and calcium. Cacao is also a source of manganese, which helps nutrients get absorbed into the skin.
Since sun damage is a common beauty concern, know that consuming dark chocolate can help. The flavonols found in dark chocolate can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and improve the overall hydration of your skin.
4. Combats Anxiety and Boosts Your Mood
We all get moody sometimes. Many of us often feel depressed, anxious, sad, frustrated, and stressed out. Dark chocolate contains a substantial amount of magnesium, an essential mineral known to reduce stress and improve the mood. Magnesium suppresses the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Magnesium is something we need in our diets, but not many foods contain it, which is why many people eat dark chocolate for its Magnesium content.
Magnesium raises our levels of serotonin, the mood-boosting neurotransmitter. This is why so many people believe that Magnesium can naturally combat depression, even more successfully than prescription antidepressants can.
Magnesium also stabilizes your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar can cause you to feel anxious or moody, which is why eating chocolate can make you feel happier.
5. Improves Brain Function
It’s important that there is a healthy circulation of blood flow in the brain to ensure healthy brain function. Blood flow to the brain supplies your brain with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.
Dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain because the flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide. The nitric oxide relaxes arteries, which reduces the resistance to blood flow. Since improved blood flow results in improved brain function, eating dark chocolate can actually improve your brain function.
cacao has been known to improve cognitive function, focus, memory, vision, mood, speech, and productivity. Since cacao contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, it’s natural that your productivity would increase from eating dark chocolate.
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