Dark chocolate is considered one of the top foods for your brain, and it is loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your health. Dark chocolate is a fantastic source of healthy antioxidants, and it improves blood flow to the brain. It is especially beneficial to eat dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao.
It is the cocoa found in dark chocolate that provides these health benefits, so choose dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa such as a chocolate bar that is 70% cocoa or this quality Japanese chocolate. High-quality dark chocolate that has a high cocoa content will not only provide more health benefits than other types of chocolate, but it will also contain less sugar and less calories.
Just as people are often surprised to hear about the health benefits of red wine, many people are surprised to hear about all of the health benefits of eating chocolate! Dark chocolate is known to improve your mood, memory and focus. Eating dark chocolate can reduce stress and can even help combat the signs of aging. Below are some of the proven health benefits of consuming dark chocolate:
A Fantastic Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they protect your brain cells from free radical damage. Free radicalsattack your brain cells, but antioxidants can combat and neutralize free radicals.
Antioxidants protect us against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Certain superfoods are known to contain lots of antioxidants. These superfoods include blueberries, acai and kale. The cocoa powder found in dark chocolate, however, contains even more antioxidants than these superfoods. That’s because dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins.
Good For Your Skin
Eating dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa has multiple beauty benefits. It can boost your skin’s moisture, nourish your skin, protect your skin from sun damage and diminish the look of wrinkles. These beauty benefits are due to dark chocolate’s content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Dark chocolate with a high concentration of cocoa is rich in vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, plus iron and calcium. Cocoa is also a source of manganese, which helps nutrients get absorbed into the skin.
Since sun damage is a common beauty concern, know that consuming dark chocolate can help. The flavonols found in dark chocolate can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and improve the overall hydration of your skin. So, if you’re going on a tropical vacation where you’ll be in the sun a lot, eating plenty of dark chocolate in the weeks leading up to your trip could actually help protect your skin against harmful sun damage.
Improves Your Mood
We all get moody sometimes. Many of us often feel depressed, anxious, sad, frustrated, and stressed out. Dark chocolate contains a substantial amount Magnesium, an essential mineral known to reduce stress and improve the mood. Magnesium suppresses the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Magnesium is something we need in our diets, but not many foods contain it, which is why many people eat dark chocolate for its Magnesium content.
Magnesium raises our levels of serotonin, the mood-boosting neurotransmitter. This is why so many people believe that Magnesium can naturally cure depression, even more successfully than prescription antidepressants can.
Magnesium also stabilizes your blood sugar level. Low blood sugar can cause you to feel anxious or moody, which is why eating chocolate can make you feel happier. By increasing your blood sugar level, you’re improving your mood.
Improves Blood Flow to the Brain and Improves Brain Function
It’s important that there is a healthy circulation of blood flow in the brain to ensure healthy brain function. Blood flow to the brain supplies your brain with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.
Dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain because the flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide. The nitric oxide relaxes arteries, which reduces the resistance to blood flow. Since improved blood flow results in improved brain function, eating dark chocolate can actually improve your brain function.
Cocoa has been known to improve cognitive function, focus, memory, vision, mood, speech, and productivity. Since cocoa contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, it’s natural that your productivity would increase from eating dark chocolate.