7 Scientific Ways That Dark Chocolate is Good For You

And it tastes good too!

Dec 20, 2019

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There's no way of getting around it. Chocolate is delicious and this time of year – or any time of year – it is hard to avoid. Boxed candy makes fantastic holiday gifts and who can resist chocolate Santa's, Hanukkah gelt, or other holiday treats.

 The good news is that dark chocolate made from Cacao beans – not milk or white – is loaded with nutrients and is actually good for you. The darker the better. Harvard School of Public Health said that 70 percent dark chocolate or higher has the most amount of benefits.

 Here are seven ways scientific studies say that dark chocolate can benefit your health. So, don't skip the treats, indulging in small amounts is good for you. 

Chock Full of Nutrients

Good quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and more according to Healthline. Chocolate also contains soluble fiber and the fatty profile consists mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats (the good fats). It is so healthy that the US Department of Agriculture's recommends dark chocolate as an after-dinner treat.

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Helps Heart Health

Dark chocolate may play a role in improving heart health. The EPIC-Norfolk study in the UK found that people who ate chocolate every day had a lower risk of both heart disease and stroke. In fact, the reduced risk according to another study was 57 percent. This is due to the flavanols in dark chocolate that helps improve blood flow and reduces blood pressure.

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Great Source of Antioxidants

Cocoa and dark chocolate contain a wide variety of powerful antioxidants and actually contain more than even blueberries, acai berries or other superfoods. Antioxidants inhibit a chemical reaction that produces free radicals that can damage cells can protect your body from inflammation due to arthritis or injuries, and diseases like cancer said Healthline.

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Can Help Lower Cholesterol

In a controlled study, dark chocolate was found to significantly decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol in men. LDL can damage the arteries in your heart and other tissue. Lowering cholesterol decreases your risk of heart disease. Adding dark chocolate to your morning oatmeal will give you a big boost in lowering those numbers.

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Good For Your Skin

Who says chocolate causes pimples? It's the opposite, the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can be very good for your skin. That's because flavanols can help protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to your skin, and increase hydration levels.

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Can Improve Blood Sugar Levels

It really can. Eating chocolate doesn't seem like a way to prevent diabetes but dark chocolate can improve how the body metabolizes glucose. A 2017 study showed that the flavonoids in dark chocolate reduce oxidation stress and improves the body's sensitivity to Insulin found in type 2 diabetes and lowers the risk of contracting this disease.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.