Are you a chocoholic? Are you looking for a reason not to feel guilty about indulging?
Dark chocolate is your smarter pick for occasional indulges than any other chocolate that is usually high in sugar. Though dark chocolate has some amount of fat, it does provide a lot of health benefits as is loaded with nutrients. You can enjoy a couple of squares or melt it and coat any fruit of your choice with it. In this way, you will reap it’s health benefits and also consume fewer calories, fat, and sugar.
Brains Health- Dark chocolate contains flavanols that get easily absorbed and help improve the blood flow to the brain, boost brain function, increases oxygen levels, and attention span. Moderate consumption of dark chocolate improves cognitive function, reduces inflammation, and may prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Aids Weight Loss- Dark chocolate reduces the levels of ghrelin (a hormone that stimulates appetite) when the body gets resistant to insulin and keeping a check on appetite. It also contains quite a decent amount of fibre which increases the feeling of satiety. Nibbling on a piece or two of dark chocolate helps reduce the munching in between meals or binging at night and also reduces the craving for a sweet or salty snack.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels- Flavanols present in dark chocolate can take up the cell activity to secrete insulin that helps the body utilize insulin more effectively further, reducing the blood sugar levels.
Heart Healthy- Flavanols and magnesium in dark chocolate keep the blood vessels open thereby, regulating and keeping the heart rate and blood pressure in check. Moreover, the flavanols and antioxidants that enter the bloodstream prevent the oxidation of lipoproteins which in turn reduces the LDL and boosts HDL, making it a heart-healthy treat.
Healthy Skin - Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that help fight against free radicals and prevents wrinkling, ageing, and protects against sun damage. It also improves the blood flow to the skin and increases skin density, gives it a smooth, lustrous texture, and even keeps the skin hydrated. Flavonoids also help improve skin cell regeneration that provides you with a younger look and glowing skin.
*Note- LOOK FOR DUTCHING- Some dark chocolate undergoes a chemical process known as ‘dutching’ where it is ‘processed with alkali’ inorder to reduces its bitterness. During this process, all traces of flavonoids are lost, hence reduces the flavanol content. So, look out for ‘processed with alkali’ on the packaging and avoid buying it.
So once in a while, go ahead and relish a piece or two of dark chocolate (80% cocoa or more). Remember eating in moderation is the key!