Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that slow the damage to cells caused by “free radicals,” or unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
Cocoa and dark chocolate contain high concentrations of flavanols which act as strong antioxidants. Cocoa flavanols have been associated with numerous health benefits such as improving blood flow decreasing blood pressure, and having anti-inflammatory properties.
A study has shown that regular consumption of small doses (20 g every 3 days) of dark chocolate is associated with lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
In another study, participants who drank a beverage every day made with 40 g of unsweetened cocoa powder had reduced levels of adhesion molecules, which are inflammatory markers associated with atherosclerosis.
One study found that eating high-flavonol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain for participants. Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine, which, of course, can improve brain function in the short-term.
It’s official: we can now enjoy that dark chocolate and satisfy our sweet tooth guilt-free.
Choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa, read labels and keep an eye on calories.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively