Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
It’s rich, yummy and sweet in moderation, chocolate is good for everyone. Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds. Theobroma Cacao, the Latin name for chocolate, means “Food of the Gods”. Chocolate has an established reputation as a good mood-lifter. Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a sure-fire stand-by in times of stress, a reliable source of consolation when life has let us down, and a mood-enhancer and romance-inducer in more positive circumstances.
Dark chocolate has a long history being used as a healing plant, a mood enhancer, and even an aphrodisiac. Here are some benefits of dark chocolate to our health.
- Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels – both common causes of artery clogging. It lowers the cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is nutritious. It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, Manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
- Consumption of cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure. There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild.
- One of the most alluring effects of chocolate consumption is its improvement in mood. Your mood matters even more when you’re stressed. Luckily, chocolate can help even in high-pressure situations. chocolate leads to higher levels of desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction. The sweet stuff contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA), which releases the same mood-altering endorphins that flood our bodies during sex and intensify feelings of attraction between two people.
- The bio-active compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. The flavonols can protect skin against sun-induced damage, improve and maintain healthy blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. Flavanol increases skin density and thickness, as well as better hydration and less transepidermal water loss.
- Dark chocolate may also improve the function of the brain. Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease. Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term.
- Chocolate contains chemicals like dopamine and serotonin; they have several benefits including the ability to promote sleep and reduce the intensity of physical pain. They are also known to increase feelings of happiness. Cacao contains both of these compounds and its effectiveness is thought to consequently derive from its ability to stimulate the brain’s production of serotonin and dopamine.
- Chocolate also contain Phenylethylamine which facilitates the release of endorphins, natural painkillers produced by the brain. It also consist of monoamine oxidase inhibitors; These natural antidepressants slow the breakdown of dopamine and serotonin compounds so that your “chocolate high” lasts longer.