Chocolate is made from a mixture cocoa (cacao), fat such as cocoa butter and finely powdered sugar. There are various types of chocolate such as milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Apart from lowering blood pressure, dark chocolate has other various health benefits as we shall see in this article.
Health Benefit 1: Cardiovascular Health
Dark chocolate boosts blood flow hence averting blood clot formation. It also reduces blood pressure. Studies have shown that arterial stiffness and white blood cell clinging to one another contribute to atherosclerosis. Dark chocolate wards off hardening of arteries, commonly as arteriosclerosis.
Health Benefit 2: Brain Health
By promoting blood flow into the brain and heart, dark chocolate assists the brain in its cognitive roles. Additionally, it lowers risk associated with stroke. Dark chocolate is rich in chemical compounds which lift up your mood. The phenyl ethylamine (PEA) chemical in dark chocolate is responsible for make us in love. Little wonder then, that lovers give each other dark chocolate bars on valentine Day. The endormophins released by dark chocolate gives you a good feeling, hence the name ‘good feeling’ hormone.
Health Benefit 3: Management of Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate shield us from Type 2 diabetes since it promotes healthy blood vessels. It contains flavonoids which aid your cells to function at optimum, thereby supporting insulin resistance and efficient utilization of this hormone. To cap it all, dark chocolate scores low on Glycemic index (GI) hence helps to keep blood sugar at manageable levels.
Health Benefit 4: Rich in Antioxidants
Free radicals cause oxidative damage to the cells. They are also responsible for premature aging and various types of cancers. The antioxidants in dark chocolate assist in eliminating f. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells.
Health Benefit 5: Dental Health
Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, a mild stimulant, which, apart from suppressing coughs aids the enamel to harden. Effectively, it reduces the risk of suffering from cavities.
Health Benefit 6: Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and minerals found in dark chocolate include potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Both copper and potassium aid in preventing stroke and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, its iron content prevent anemia by ensuring there is no iron deficiency. Magnesium is what you will need to keep Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases at bay.
Health Benefit 7: Anti-oxidant
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) in dark chocolate is high. This is because of its numerous biologically active compounds such as polyphenols, Flavonols, catechins, among others. This rates dark chocolate above most similar foods in its league.
Health Benefit 8: Nitric Oxide
Dark chocolate contains Flavonols which induces the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce a gas known as Nitric Oxide (NO). This gas helps to relax, reduces resistance blood flow in arteries, hence encouraging blood flow. In the same vein, dark chocolate assist in lowering blood pressure.
Health Benefit 9: Protects Skin
Dark chocolate contains bioactive compounds which boost blood flow to the skin, not to mention increasing density and hydration of the skin. Its Flavonols prevent sun-induced damage to your skin.