Infographic: Must-Know Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Ask most people which word they associate with chocolate, and they’ll say indulgence. But wait! While it’s best known as a decadent dessert, chocolate — specifically dark chocolate — is loaded with health benefits. So forget guilty pleasure. Dark chocolate is a treat you can actually feel good about eating.
Sure, it can satisfy a sweet tooth, but studies indicate numerous health benefits associated with eating dark chocolate, from lowering blood pressure to reducing symptoms of anxiety. Just be sure to choose chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa to gain the full effects. Here are several other ways this healthful confection boosts your physical and mental well-being:
- It’s packed with antioxidants — Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. This boosts immunity and helps the body fight illness.
- It’s full of minerals — Dark chocolate is high in key minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, boosting your nutrient intake.
- It offers UV protection — Compounds in dark chocolate have been shown to protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
- It has feel-good compounds — Because dark chocolate is high in phenethylamine, a chemical that the body metabolizes into serotonin, it can be a short-term aid for symptoms of anxiety and depression. Serotonin is one of the most effective mood stabilizers the body produces.
- It can boost your energy — Want a caffeine boost that won’t give you the jitters? Dark chocolate can increase alertness. But because it contains much less caffeine than coffee, it won’t interfere with sleep.
- It can sharpen your focus — Eating dark chocolate can actually improve your body’s blood flow to the brain, which may enhance mental performance.
- It increases good cholesterol (and may lower the bad) — If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to boost your HDL (good) cholesterol, dark chocolate may be the answer. At least one study found that it also lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol in men.
- It reduces the incidence of serious diseases — Multiple studies have shown a connection between cacao, which chocolate is derived from, and a lowered risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes, and even cancer.
- It improves digestion — You probably already know that yogurt is high in gut-healthy probiotics, but did you know dark chocolate is, too? In fact, dark chocolate has both probiotics and prebiotics, so it regulates digestion while feeding the existing good bacteria in your gut.
- It protects dental health — Dark chocolate is a candy even dentists love. Why? Because it has antibacterial compounds that fight plaque buildup and the biofilms where harmful oral bacteria thrive.
Not many of us need another reason to reach for a bar of dark chocolate, but here are 10 excellent ones. Feel good about your sweet treat because you know all the good it’s doing for your health. To explore these benefits further, take a look at the attached resource.
About The Author:
Alex Marks is a sales manager with more than 15 years of corporate and wholesale experience, managing accounts for some of the world’s largest brands and retailers. Marks brings her sales knowledge and leadership to Mrs Prindables, overseeing the company’s Corporate Gifting, Promotional Products, Department Store, Affiliate, and Wedding programs.
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