ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dark Chocolate Nutrition

Updated on August 27, 2019
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a human resources professional who enjoys sharing simple recipes that make mealtime deliciously easy!

If you have a sweet tooth or consider yourself a "chocoholic" you can relax and enjoy the dark cacao variety. There are health benefits associated with the consumption of dark chocolate. We have all been told to avoid sweets because they are not good for you. Now there is one sweet you can indulge in!


Dark Chocolate has Health Benefits

Watch the Calories

However, one word of caution - dark chocolate is high in calories so overindulging is ill advised. You must always remember that balance and moderation is key so limit your intake of this treat to reap the benefits and avoid the drawbacks.

So how much is enought? Eating a small dark chocolate bar daily can be quite good for you so keep curb your intake to no more than this.

Why is dark chocolate beneficial to your health? There are many reasons.


One of these healthy reasons is that dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant that battles those free radicals responsible for our aging process. It is also low on the glycemic index keeping our blood sugar stable and this in turn helps keep us trim. It protects the heart from disease and it can also act as a brain booster! These are a few of the great reasons to add dark chocolate to your diet.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate does not have same health benefits because it contains a lower concentration of cacao. Cacao is the superstar here and dark chocolate contains lots of it! However not all dark chocolate is equal. Cacao is the active ingredient in chocolate that makes it healthy and provides the nutritional benefits. The higher the percentage of cacao in the chocolate the better. Dark chocolate varieties contain the most cacao.

Check the label - you should be consuming dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao to realize the benefits.

How does dark chocolate do all these great things? Read on!


Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?


Dark chocolate is good for you because It is chock full of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your healthy cells from the detrimental effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules in your body that are primarily responsible for aging; tissue damage and some diseases. These molecules bond with healthy cells and damage them and as you age your natural protection diminishes.

Therefore getting more antioxidants through your diet is important. The cocoa contained in dark chocolate actually contains more antioxidants than healthy foods such as blueberries and green tea!

Low Glycemic Food

Dark chocolate is rich in "flavanols" which are the antioxidants described above. But flavanols also play a greater role than just fighting off free radicals. They help to restore the cells ability to allow sugar to enter the cells from the bloodstream so it can be used for energy.

Dark chocolate has an glycemic index rating of only 23. This is very low. Low glycemic foods with an index of 55 or less when consumed keep the blood sugar levels steady. Keeping your blood sugar levels steady is critical to avoid developing diabetes and to maintain a healthy weight. It also helps to increase your energy levels.

Heart Healthy

The consumption of dark chocolate has been shown to reduce the inflammation that is associated with the development of heart disease and the reduction is significant!

Chronic Inflammation has a strong connection to the development of heart disease so the ability to reduce this inflammation is a great health benefit. C-reactive protein levels in blood cause this inflammation and studies shows that people who eat dark chocolate regularly have much lower levels of this protein in their bloodstream.

The recommendation is one small chocolate bar per day (about 6.7 grams or 0.23 ounces), no more than that is recommended. There is one caution, dark chocolate is a high fat food, some of this fat is saturated but as long as it is eaten in moderation, the healthy benefits are not lost. It is still worth adding dark chocolate to your diet.

Brain Booster

Dark chocolate has been shown to have an effect on the brain and in a good way. It doesn't put you into a chocolate induced fog but actually quite the opposite!

Researchers have revealed that consumption of dark chocolate significantly increases blood flow to the brain. The increase of blood flow is thought to increase alertness and memory for at least a few hours.

It appears that a dark chocolate bar is a good treat to consume when you need to concentrate for a few hours perhaps during an exam or working on a project at work. This research has implications for treating vascular related disorders such as stroke and dementia. Flavanols are again the ingredient that is responsible for these benefits and dark chocolate is rich in flavanols!

Healthiest Dark Chocolate

Lindt Excellence Bar, 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark Chocolate, Gluten Free, Great for Holiday Gifting, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Lindt Excellence Bar, 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark Chocolate, Gluten Free, Great for Holiday Gifting, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Lindt brand dark chocolate is a favorite of mine. One of the things I like best about it is how easy it is to break off into smaller pieces. The bar is made up of small squares, and breaking off a couple is the perfect little treat to satisfy your chocolate craving. It has a good chocolate taste without the bitterness. Try it yourself you won't be disappointed. I like the 70 % cocoa variety but it does come in 85% and 90%. Remember the higher the percentage of cocoa the healthier the chocolate.

The Taste of Dark Chocolate

It's true that dark chocolate is not as creamy or sweet as milk chocolate. But milk chocolate shares none of the healthy benefits. Dark chocolate is an acquired taste. However, if you allow the chocolate to melt slowly in your mouth the creamier chocolate flavors will be unleashed. You just have to know how to enjoy it.

Dark chocolate should always be brought to room temperature - a cold bar becomes brittle and unappealing.

When purchasing dark chocolate be certain it contains at least 70 percent cacao (cocoa). Anything less than this will not provide the same health benefits, in fact quite the opposite. More and more chocolate companies such as Hershey are now producing dark chocolate bars that are readily available at the local supermarket. It just makes sense to pick up that dark chocolate bar instead of the sugary milk chocolate version.

Dark Chocolate Recipes


Hot Chocolate Drink

Here is a recipe for homemade hot chocolate made with healthy ingredients. I hope you will try it, its one of my favorites.


4 cups soy milk or almond milk

3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped coarsely

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt (to taste)


1. Using a small saucepan, combine ingredients

2. Using a whisk stir over medium low heat until the chocolate has melted and mixture is steaming hot.

3. Ready in about 5 minutes


How to Make Dark Chocolate

Do you like dark chocolate?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)