Natural Ingredients

Dark Chocolate – Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Chocolate has many different kinds of varieties. Many of us are mostly fond of milk chocolate. But chocolate without the milk is called Dark Chocolate. It has 70% cocoa.

This makes it bittersweet to bitter in taste, depending upon the percentage of cocoa added. Other than coco, some ingredients such as emulsifiers and flavors are added to make a bar of Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate is used in baking and preparation of many desserts due to its unique bittersweet taste. The absence of milk makes its texture chalk-like.

Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is used for its health properties since ancient times. The Mayans were one of the first civilization which prepared this dark chocolate. Dark chocolate was previously used for health benefits rather than as a confectionary.

1. Antioxidant properties

Dark chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants. Most prominent being polyphenols. The polyphenols are helpful in fighting off free radicals and toxins. Some of the studies even claim that the quantity of polyphenols present in dark chocolate is more than many other food items.

2. Regulation of cholesterol levels

Dark chocolate helps in the management of cholesterol. This means that it increases the levels of good cholesterol and decreases levels of bad cholesterol. It is one of the best options for people who are prone to strokes or heart attacks.

3. Memory booster

Dark chocolate is good for the hearth. It is also suitable for the brain, as well. It improves cognitive function.

4. Synthesis of Red blood cells

Dark chocolate not only contains antioxidants. But it includes minerals as well, such as copper, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Copper and iron are used for the synthesis of red blood cells.

5. Anti-inflammatory effects

Anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate come from phytochemicals. This anti-inflammatory property is more pronounced in bars that have a higher percentage of cocoa and the least percentage of sugar.

MEDICAL USES

1. Cardiovascular Disease

Few pieces of research have indicated that people who regularly eat dark chocolate have a higher tendency to fight off cardiovascular diseases.

This effect is due to the management of cholesterol levels in the body. Higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol are essential for cardiovascular health. Such people also have fewer chances of getting a stroke.

2. Cognition, Amnesia, and Depression

Dark chocolate has some researches to add to its library regarding mental health. It is known to improve cognitive abilities.

One of the research proved that dark chocolates have the ability to stimulate the activity of neurons in the brain. Thus, it is suitable to refer to dark chocolate as a mood enhancer. This is best for people who are suffering from lows in their life or for people who have depression.

3. Diabetes

Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes. It helps in the metabolism of glucose.

Insulin resistance usually occurs due to oxidative stress. The flavonoids that are present in dark chocolate helps in the reduction of this oxidative stress. When insulin resistance to the body is improved, the risk of developing diabetes is also reduced.

4. Weight Loss

When people eat chocolate, they feel full. This helps people to lose weight as dark chocolate improves the person to control their appetite.

This function of dark chocolate is achieved due to its ability to signal the brains to release certain hormones.

These hormones make the person feel full. However, if people eat more than recommended quantities of dark chocolate. This benefit may be counteracted, and the person can end up gaining weight. Therefore, dark chocolate must be eaten in normal amounts for the purpose of weight loss.

5. Aging

Dark chocolate is good for your skins in several ways. It is not only full of antioxidants but also contains many minerals. These minerals are suitable for your skin.

Manganese present in dark chocolate help in the production of a new layer of skin. Making you look younger than before. Calcium also helps in the repair of old skin. Some researchers also believe that the antioxidants present in dark chocolate help protect skin from UV light.

6. Cancer

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help fight off free radicals. The flavonoids, combined with antioxidants, are especially helpful in preventing colon cancer. This has been successfully researched in rats.

Another way to prevent cancer is through its anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is how the body responds to the harmful particles present in the body.

Inflammation over a more extended period may turn in to cancer. Dark chocolate thus produces an anti-inflammatory effect as well as strengthens the immune system. The mechanism as to how this effect is produced is still unclear.

Side Effects Of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is suggested to consume in small quantities. There are many side effects of dark chocolate that are dose-dependent because of the higher percentage of cocoa present in it.

1. A higher percentage of cocoa means that it has a higher percentage of caffeine. People who consume a large amount of dark chocolate may suffer from palpitation and increased heartbeat. Something particularly dangerous for people with cardiovascular disorders

2. Dark chocolate contains oxalates. If a person is prone to develop kidney stones, then dark chocolate is not right for them. These oxalates are excreted through the kidney. There is also a chance that they get stuck in the kidney and form stones

3. Dark chocolate also contains tyramine. Tyramine trigger migraine headaches.

4. Dark chocolate has considerably high levels of sugar. This is not good for diabetic people

CONCLUSION

Dark chocolates are known for their benefits and positive health effects. But at the same time, like the rest of the chocolates, it possesses some risks too. The only solution to counteract these risks is to eat it moderately.

Excess of everything is bad. When buying dark chocolate, always buy those bars which have moderate ingredients. People often eat dark chocolate thinking it causes no harm.

But If you are prone to develop kidney stones, migraines, or even diabetes, consult your doctor before adding dark chocolate to your diet. Because it is always better to avoid those things that might cause trouble for you in the future. Moreover, ask the doctor for the recommended consumption of dark chocolate for your particular health condition.

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