Chocolate has been a valued product for centuries, and in the past its consumption was made available only to the rich, who took over the tradition of processing cocoa beans from the Aztecs. Chocolate was a rarity and even today quality chocolate is really rare. Just think of the chocolates that are available in our stores. Read their composition and your head will go around. However, today’s article brings you information about the benefits of consuming quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Cocoa is very beneficial for your health. However, cocoa should be avoided especially by people suffering from gout.
1. Protection against free radicals
One of the most important advantages of consuming dark chocolate is the protection of the body against the action of free radicals, which enter the body through food, ambient air, ie the skin, inhalation or other substances. The antioxidants contained in chocolate destroy (neutralize) free radicals and protect the body from damage. Antioxidants include, of course, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants flavonoids and polyphenols. The higher the cocoa content of chocolate, the more of these antioxidants they contain.
2. Cancer prevention
Consuming quality chocolate can protect you from cancer. As mentioned above, cocoa contains antioxidants that rid you of toxic substances in the body, which are a common cause of cancer. Mainly due to the high dose of flavonoids in cocoa, scientists have found that it protects against the onset and development of cancer.
3. Supports the health of the cardiovascular system
Flavanols are a type of flavonoid that has been found in dark chocolate. According to research, flavanols have a positive effect on heart health, help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart. A little bit of dark chocolate a day will improve blood circulation. But forget about white chocolate, it does not contain any flavanols.
4. Cholesterol reduction
Cocoa butter, which is made from cocoa and is contained in dark chocolate, contains important amounts of mono unsaturated fats and important stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic acid has a neutral effect on cholesterol, although it has other health benefits. In addition, the polyphenols contained in cocoa can have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels. Three weeks of daily consumption of quality dark chocolate will increase the level of HDL cholesterol, ie good cholesterol and LDL, bad cholesterol.
5. Improving cognitive functions
Dark chocolate is also on the list of 15 foods that support the activity of the brain very favorably. Improves concentration and memory. As the substances in chocolate increase blood flow to the brain, there is better blood circulation and a reduced risk of stroke and future dementia. Flavonoids also improve cognitive abilities in the elderly. According to a 2009 study of 2,000 participants aged 70-74 consuming daily dark chocolate for one month, they found that cognitive function improved in the elderly.
6. Blood pressure and blood sugar
According to a study published in 2015, when patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes consumed 25 grams of dark chocolate a day for 8 weeks, other important information was found. The researchers found that dark chocolate lowered blood pressure and even blood sugar levels. There is also a direct relationship in chocolate. The higher the cocoa content of chocolate, the lower the sugar content, which is essential for diabetics.
Dark chocolate can be described as a superfood mainly because of its antioxidant content. It therefore belongs to foods such as acai, cranberries, blueberries or pomegranate. Cocoa powder is very beneficial for you and heals with the same strength as the mentioned fruit, which is rich in rare nutrients.
There is considerable evidence that cocoa can offer many health benefits, especially protecting against heart disease.
Of course, this does not mean that you should consume a lot of chocolate every day. It is still full of calories and you can easily wish for it.
Also, be aware that most common chocolates are not healthy. Therefore, choose quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher.