Dark Chocolate- The Dark Horse of Good Health


Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food. – Michael Levin, Nutritional Researcher

Who doesn’t like eating Chocolates? Right from the Kids to Adults, everyone melts at the very sight of the dark brownish slab of delicious goodness and who wouldn’t! And now with researchers and recent reports stating that the Dark Chocolate variety of Chocolate can help boost one’s cardiovascular health along with helping to regulate blood pressure, improve blood circulation and so on… we are sure there couldn’t be better news for Chocolate Lovers world over!

Why Dark Chocolate instead of any other Chocolate?

Some of the most commonly available varieties of chocolate are White, Brown, Milk and Dark Chocolate. However, despite the many health benefits of dark chocolate, it still hasn’t been able to achieve a place amongst the preferred chocolate varieties in India! The answer to this lies in our Indian taste buds, which are still unaccustomed to the bitter taste of Dark Chocolate.

With the medical fraternity going gaga over the anti-ageing and cardio vascular health boosting properties of dark chocolate, it definitely deserves a place amongst our favorite chocolates.

Still not convinced? The following mentioned health benefits of Dark Chocolate should convince you,

Looking beyond the Bitter Taste of Dark Chocolate:

Running parallel to Michael Levine’s description of Chocolate as the worlds perfect food, we list down the reasons which make Dark Chocolate so healthy,

Anti – Oxidant Power House

Many people don’t know that chocolate is a plant based food. In fact Raw Cocoa (basic ingredient for any kind of chocolate) contains a very high level of anti-oxidants and with Dark Chocolate containing high levels of cocoa; it too has a high level of anti-oxidants! The anti-oxidants present in dark chocolate are found in the form of polyphenols known as flavanoids, which help protect the body from free radicals and harmful molecules, thereby slowing down the ageing process while protecting us from Cancer!

With Dark Chocolate containing almost twice the amount of Antioxidants as compared to Red wine, the antioxidants found in dark chocolate help protect against ageing and heart problems.

Heart Matters

Consumption of Cocoa is proven to help relax one’s arteries as well as widen them; it also helps in widening arteries and maintaining them. Dark chocolate helps in preventing the buildup of plaque on the arteries which can block them, it does so by slowing down the rate of the *oxidization of LDL or Bad Cholesterol. Clinical trials have further proven that consumption of dark chocolate prevents the clogging up of arteries by reducing platelet re-activity.

*Oxidization of LDL cholesterol is responsible for the beginning of the accumulation of plaque on the arteries*

Reduces Blood Pressure

Dark chocolate contains vital minerals such as Magnesium and Copper, which help in regulating and maintaining the blood pressure. Research conducted on the same at the University of California, has revealed that individuals who consumed dark chocolates for two weeks had a better and healthier blood functioning, than those who had other forms of chocolate.

Other research conducted on the same has found that Dark chocolate triggers the release of Nitric Oxide within the blood. The presence of Nitric Oxide in the blood is responsible for the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels, which allows for more flow of the blood, thereby reducing blood pressure considerably.

Mood Booster

Dark Chocolate contains many compounds that serve to produce the ‘feel good’ factor on its consumption. The three main compounds found in the chocolate are Theobromine, which is a mild natural stimulant. Caffeine too is found in dark chocolate, albeit in low quantity.

However the compound mainly responsible for the boost in our moods after eating dark chocolate is Phenylethylamine (PEA), which triggers the release of endorphins in our brain. So the next time you find yourself feeling blue, pop in a square of Dark Chocolate!

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Written by Medimange

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