Dark Chocolate: A Healthy Food if Eaten Sparingly
According to studies conducted on dark chocolate, one may be pleasantly surprised to know that it is a healthy chocolate. Besides being pleasurable to eat, eating fifty grams of dark chocolate that contain at least 70 percent chocolate solids will provide healthy inputs to the body, and may help to also protect one from heart disease, high blood pressure and more since it also contains iron, calcium and potassium. With a rich content of vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, it not only tastes good, but is good for the health as well. One and a half ounces of chocolate has many more antioxidants than a five ounce glass of wine.
“Bittersweet” or “Semi-Sweet” are Other Names for it
Dark chocolate is also referred to as “bittersweet” or “semi-sweet” chocolate, and has approximately seventy percent of cocoa solids with less or no sugar added. It has an intense and rich flavor, and many candies as well as chocolate chips may be dark chocolates. One should look for seventy percent cocoa or more in the chocolate that should be made of cocoa butter and not fats like palm and coconut oils.
Also, the dark chocolate should not be made of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils that are not good for cholesterol and the darker the chocolate, the better it is. The darkness of the chocolate can be attributed to use of plant chemicals such as flavonoids, that make the chocolate darker and has more health benefits.
The main reason to choose a dark chocolate is the flavonoids, which are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols that can also be found in tea, red wine, as well as many fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolates also lessen bad cholesterol oxidation and reduce the risk of having your blood to clot and increase the flow of blood in the arteries.
It can also be eaten when in a bad mood. It helps to improve the mood, as well as gives pleasure through increasing the serotonin as well as endorphin levels in the brain. It also has many minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
One can also find antioxidants in the dark chocolate which would not be the case with eating milk chocolates. Milk binds to antioxidants present in the chocolate, and thus does not make them available to the body.
To get full antioxidant benefits from your dark chocolate, you should refrain from drinking milk with it. There are some concerns, however, that have been voiced with regard to getting migraine attacks as a result of consuming dark chocolate, but there is insufficient and inconclusive data to support such concerns. Thus, this kind of chocolate, when eaten sparingly, truly has many benefits.
One should also take care not to eat too much of dark chocolate, which in limited quantities, is good for the health and since it is loaded with calories, one should limit its consumption.