10 Benefits From Dark Chocolate
* Dark Chocolate *
Dark chocolate, also called black chocolate, is a type of chocolate that is the healthiest and the most natural. When compared to other chocolate types, dark chocolate does not contain any milk solids. Milk solids are used as an additive to alter the appearance and flavor of chocolate. Dark chocolate is naturally dry, chalky, and has a bittersweet flavor. Dark chocolate is produced by adding small amounts of fat and sugar to pure cocoa. Sometimes vanilla flavoring or nuts are added to dark chocolate for an enhanced flavor. Dark chocolate is the best choice for a snack. Dark chocolate can be enjoyed by adults and children, in moderation of course.
Dark chocolate can range in purity by the percentage of cocoa solids contained in the chocolate. For example, the cocoa content of commercial dark chocolate bars can range from 30% for sweet dark chocolate to 70%, 75%, or even above 80% for extremely dark chocolate bars. The higher percentage of cocoa solids contained in dark chocolate means that it is darker and less sweet, but healthier and more natural. Dark chocolate can be consumed raw, melted, or used as a baking ingredient. Dark chocolate tends to be more expensive than other chocolate types, but it's worth every penny. Dark chocolate is healthy for many different reasons.
Dark Chocolate Ingredients
The ingredients found in dark chocolate are all natural and healthy to consume daily. They are simple and without any that cannot be pronounced. Dark chocolate is easy to produce. The main ingredients in dark chocolate are:
- Cocoa Butter
- Cocoa Powder
- Chocolate Liquor
- Soy Lecithin
The amount of ingredients in dark chocolate vary depending on the type of dark chocolate. Some dark chocolate types contain more of certain ingredients, while other dark chocolate types contain less of certain ingredients. Other chocolate types, like milk chocolate and white chocolate, contain milk solids along with high amounts of sugar and salt. With simple ingredients that are all natural, dark chocolate is the best chocolate choice to indulge in. Dark chocolate is okay to be consumed daily and, in fact, is recommended.
Types of Dark Chocolate
There are many different brands of dark chocolate to choose from, but there are only three dark chocolate types. They are:
- Sweet dark chocolate contains the same amount of sugar as cocoa, which is added to a chocolate liquor for a sweet flavor.
- Semi-Sweet dark chocolate is frequently used as a cooking and baking ingredient; it is a dark chocolate that contains half as much sugar as cocoa, which is blended with a chocolate liquor.
- Bittersweet dark chocolate is unsweetened chocolate with some added sugar (less than a third), more added cocoa butter, sometimes vanilla, and an emulsifier such as soy lecithin is added to preserve texture; it has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two dark chocolate types are interchangeable when used as a baking ingredient.
Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate are sometimes referred to as couverture, which is a term that is used for chocolates that are rich in cocoa butter and contain a high percentage of cocoa, which is healthy and tastes great.
The Darker, the Healthier
Do You Like Dark Chocolate?
What type of chocolate do you prefer?
Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?
Dark chocolate is healthy because of the good things that dark chocolate contains. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of cocoa flavanols, which are beneficial phytonutrients (also known as plant-based nutrients) that are found naturally in cocoa. Cocoa flavanols are scientifically proven to help support a healthy body, mentally and physically, when consumed daily. Flavanols act like vitamin B antioxidants to provide many health benefits. The flavanols found in dark chocolate are numerous, even more than found in some berries. No other food on Earth can match cocoa’s unique blend of flavanols. That’s why experts refer to the cocoa bean as nature’s most surprising “super fruit.” Since dark chocolate contains high amounts of cocoa solids, which is derived from cocoa beans, dark chocolate is the only chocolate type close to being a "super fruit."
Resveratrol is also found in dark chocolate. Reservaeratrol is the same antioxidant that is found in red wine and grapes and has been proven to protect the body. Dark chocolate contains approximately 13.1 micrograms of resveratrol per serving. Dark chocolate has the second highest concentration of reservatrol, next to red wine which contains approximately 18 micrograms of resveratrol per serving.
A List of 10 Benefits From Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is, in fact, the healthiest type of chocolate for many different reasons. Dark chocolate is the most natural form of chocolate, meaning less additives and a higher percentage of pure cocoa. Dark chocolate has many various health benefits that can be enjoyed by everyone. The benefits from consuming dark chocolate regularly can positively effect children, adults, and the elderly. Dark chocolate can cure and reduce the risk of certain ailments, while avoiding the use of medications. Dark chocolate is the most natural form of cocoa, with the greatest taste. Dark chocolate is enjoyed by many people around the world now that chocolate is widely and readily available. Now there are even more reasons than before to indulge in this dark and sweet treat more often, while not feeling so guilty about it. New and recent studies are confirming that snaking on chocolate daily will improve and increase health in many different ways, along with tasting great. From mentally healthy to physically healthy, dark chocolate is all around healthy. The list below will explain the benefits from dark chocolate, in detail and including illustrations.
1. Dark Chocolate is Heart Healthy.
Dark chocolate has been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and strokes from occurring because dark chocolate contains many antioxidants. There is a reduced chance of blockages and blood clots forming within the veins and arteries when dark chocolate is consumed regularly because dark chocolate releases antioxidants into the blood stream. This benefit is most important for women because older women have a higher risk of heart complications and heart disease, which might help explain why women crave chocolate so often. Dark chocolate is a great way to have and maintain heart health, without the regular use of medications and doctor's visits, which can become very costly and expensive. Dark chocolate helps the heart to maintain a regular heartbeat. Dark chocolate also helps to heal a broken heart, what ever the cause may be. Many women heal their broken heart with dark chocolate, and it works every time.
2. Dark Chocolate Improves Blood Flow.
Since dark chocolate contains antioxidants, it causes the blood vessels to dilate. When the blood vessels open widely, there is increased blood flow to all parts of the body including the heart, all organs, and even the eyes. The increased blood flow prevents plaque from forming in the blood vessels and arteries, which will help to stop blood clots from forming. This benefit is important for anyone with poor circulation, including those who experience a tingling sensation often. With increased blood flow, a person can feel more awake and energized throughout the day.
3. Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure.
Since consuming dark chocolate provides an increased blood flow within the blood vessels and arteries to all parts of the body, there is less build up of plaque which means lowers hypertension/blood pressure. The opening up of the blood vessels and arteries results in lower blood pressure, which also reduces stress, anxiety, and tension. Flavonoids contained in dark chocolate can also enhance and increase the formation of nitric oxide within a body to relax the blood vessel walls. Having healthy blood vessels and arteries is the best way to maintain lower blood pressure.
4. Dark Chocolate Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Raises Good Cholesterol.
When a person consumes dark chocolate, stearic acid is released. This is a neutral saturated fat that does not raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises the good cholesterol (HDL). The cocoa butter that is added to the dark chocolate contains a mono-saturated fat, the good kind of fat that can be found in olive oil and in black olives. This type of mono-saturated fat is healthy for the skin, nails, and hair. The mono-saturated fat is also great for maintaining a healthy weight and for weight loss.
5. Dark Chocolate Reduces Depression.
Depression is a chronic state of feeling unhappy, stressed, down, or even angry. Depression has many negative effects on the whole body because the mind depressed, but so is the body and immune system. This can cause a person to experience fatigue, physical pain, and increases risk for other physical diseases to form. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can also help with depression in many different ways. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that breaks down into two other very important neurotransmitters. These are serotonin and melatonin, and both help to protect stress. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant, which helps to stabilize a person's mood. Melatonin helps a person to relax and be able fall into a deep sleep at night. Deep sleep is essential because it is the time when the body repairs itself from the stress from each day. It also helps to naturally restore the serotonin levels for the next day. Consuming dark chocolate also increases dopamine, which can help to reduce unexplained pain that is often associated with depression. Dark chocolate also contains mono-amines that help to stabilize moods by allowing the serotonin and dopamine to remain in the body for longer periods of time. Dark chocolate can increases endorphins
6. Dark Chocolate is Great for Teeth.
Since dark chocolate is derived from the cocoa plant, dark chocolate contains theobromine. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant that hardens tooth enamel. Hardened tooth enamel means that teeth are stronger and less susceptible to cavities. Eating dark chocolate does not replace proper and regular dental care, but can increase the strength of teeth. Tannins are what give dark chocolate it's bitter taste and dark appearance, but also prevent cavities from forming by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Polyphenols, or organic chemicals, contained in dark chocolate limit the effects of bacteria in the mouth because they neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, prevent infections in your gums, and battle tooth decay. Flavonoids, referred to as Vitamin P from the mid 1930s to the early 1950s, are also in dark chocolate and they work to slow tooth decay. Enjoy dark chocolate daily and keep smiling.
|Serving size: 1 ounce|
|Calories from Fat||90|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 10 g||15%|
|Saturated fat 6 g||30%|
|Unsaturated fat 4 g|
|Carbohydrates 13 g||4%|
|Sugar 12 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
7. Dark Chocolate is Nutritious.
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is nutritious. It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. For example, a 100 gram (3.5 ounces) bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa content contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the RDA for Iron
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium
- 89% of the RDA for Copper
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese
- Plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
- Only 600 calories
- Moderate sugar amount
8. Dark Chocolate Improves Brain Function.
Since dark chocolate contains antioxidants that improve blood flow to all parts of the body, that also includes increased blood flow to and from the brain. That means more oxygen for the brain to function better and to retain more information throughout the day. Dark chocolate also contains certain chemicals, like phenylethylamine (PEA), that affect the brain in a positive way. These certain chemicals contained in dark chocolate can also enhance a person's mood by making the brain naturally create more serotonin without the use of medications. The increased blood flow and serotonin provided by dark chocolate can help any person's mood change from bad to good. Since the brain is functioning more and there is a positive mood, a person can accomplish more goals and get further in life with just a few bites of dark chocolate per day, and no prescription or co-pay is required.
9. Dark Chocolate Has Anti-Aging Properties.
The flavanols contained in dark chocolate offer some UV protection from the sun for your skin, but not enough to skip the sunscreen completely. The flavanols combined with the antioxidants that dark chocolate contains also help skin healthy by preventing increased signs of aging, meaning less wrinkles and fine lines. Dark chocolate also allows skin to retain elasticity and encourages skin cell rejuvenation. This means that skin can naturally be more supple with a glow that is complimenting.
10. Dark Chocolate Promotes Weight Loss.
Dark chocolate has been proven to improve and increase a person's metabolism at any age, which is important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Having a higher metabolism means the body is burning more calories at a faster rate than a normal metabolism would. The increased blood flow from consuming dark chocolate is a great way to jump start any workout because there is an increase in energy. Snacking on dark chocolate before and/or after any meal can help to burn those extra unwanted calories that may be wearing a person down. Plus dark chocolate is filling, so a person will eat less during meals when dark chocolate is incorporated into a diet. Dark chocolate promotes healthy weight loss and it is a tasty method.
More Benefits From Dark Chocolate
- Dark Chocolate - A Delicious Addition to Your Healthy Diet
You will be delighted to learn that dark chocolate can help you with your weight loss efforts and can be a delicious addition to your diet. Plus, dark chocolate has more antioxidants in a single ounce than nearly any other food.
- Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?
Find out if dark chocolate is healthy for you. Learn about the difference between dark chocolate milk chocolate, and white chocolate.
- Health Benefits And Dark Chocolate
Belgium dark chocolates are special. So is wine from France and sausages from Germany or olive oil from Italy. These three countries surround Belgium, yet they cultivate unique specialty items. Chocolates from Belgium are so unique that other...
- Give your Loved One's Heart the Gift of Dark Chocolate, Health Benefits, Healthy Heart & Anti-Ag
If you are going to be treating yourself or a loved one to chocolates, why not make a better choice and choose dark chocolate?. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with a piece of white or milk chocolate from time to time (everything...
Dark Chocolate Always Makes the Perfect Gift
Dark Chocolate Recipes
- Chocolate Recipes and Melting Techniques
Chocolate and more chocolate! Find easy to use ingredient charts and conversions cheat sheets at the bottom! What makes the different types of chocolates we see in stores? Also, a few really quick and easy chocolate recipes! Learn the best ways to me
- Dark Chocolate Bark Recipe: Dark Chocolate with Caramelized Nuts & Pink Salt
Are you looking for a gluten-free dessert, or perhaps a special gift for a friend who has celiac disease? Dark chocolate bark is easy to make and will end any dinner party on a sophisticated note. This candy boasts carmelized nuts for extra crunch an
- Homemade Dark Chocolate Candy- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups-Healthy Version
How to make your own healthy Reese's Pieces. This dark chocolate and peanut butter dessert is delicious.
- Homemade Dark Chocolate Covered Sponge Cake Squares
Here's a recipe for Dark Chocolate Covered Sponge Cake Squares. Enjoy!
- Homemade Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
This is my recipe for whole wheat oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chips. They're more healthy than plain cookies and taste great. Enjoy!