Do you need a reason to eat chocolates? Well, for many of us, chocolate is the ultimate treat that sets our mood, or a perfect recipe for expressing love and care. A 100 grams bar of dark chocolate is loaded with minerals which include 70-85% cocoa, 11 grams of soluble fiber, 67% iron, 58% magnesium, 89% copper and 98% manganese along with loads of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium and one of the best sources of antioxidants like flavonoids. Does this mean we must keep on eating chocolate all the time? The answer to this is, in order to reap the beauty and health benefits, 2-3 ounces of chocolate a week will suffice. It is also important to note that cocoa content in dark chocolate must not be more than 70%. It can also act as a tasty medicine for treating heart problems. Skim through the post and get to know potential health and beauty benefits of dark chocolates.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolates
1. Source of Antioxidants
Free radicals lead to oxidative damage to the body. Chocolates are full of antioxidants like polyphenols, catechins and flavanols and biologically active compounds that help remove these free radicals.
2. Controls Blood Sugar
Chocolate contains flavonoids which help decrease insulin resistance and revives the ability of the body to use insulin properly. The presence of cocoa in dark chocolate makes it suitable for diabetic people as it inhibits blood sugar levels and controls obesity.
3. Reduces the Risk of Cavities
Dark chocolate contains theobromine which is said to harden the tooth enamel, thus lowering the risk of getting cavities.
4. Lowers Blood Cholesterol and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Studies reveal that having 2 or more chocolates per week may lower the risk of having calcified plaque in arteries by 32%. Another study shows that having chocolates more than 5 times per week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Prevents Cancer
Dark chocolate is loaded with flavanols, polyphenols, catechins and many such compounds that help our body eliminate free radicals, thus preventing oxidative damage of the cells and various types of cancer.
6. Protection against Sun
The bioactive compounds and flavanols in chocolates protect skin from sun damage and even improve blood flow to the skin.
7. Brain Booster
Researches show that people who eat dark chocolate on the daily basis have sharp memory, as well as better problem-solving skills. Dark chocolate has a substantial amount of cocoa and decent amount of theobromine which helps activate the brain muscles in a short time.
8. Enhances the Mood
Eating a bar of chocolate produces endorphin hormone in the body which gives us a feeling of happiness and pleasure. In addition, it contains natural anti-depressant known as serotonin, which relaxes our brain and nervous system when we are feeling low.
9. Better Vision
Chocolate also affects our sense of vision positively as compared to those who do not have chocolate frequently.
10. Reduces Fatigue
Chocolates, being rich in polyphenol, are very effective in curing the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Neurotransmitters such as anandamide, serotonin and phenylethylamine also relax your brain.
11. Prevents Stroke
Chocolate contains flavanoids like epicatechin which are known to ward off strokes. People who consume chocolate regularly are less prone to problems like stroke as compared to people who do not consume chocolate on a regular basis. Ideally we must have more than 45 grams of chocolate per week. It leads to decrease in the risk of cardiac stroke by 20%.
12. Better Teeth
Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which, in turn, helps prevent tooth decay by eliminating bacteria.
13. Cures Anemia
Chocolate is known to be rich in flavanoids and iron, and can be administered to patients suffering from anemia and malnutrition.
14. Lowers the Blood Pressure
Dark chocolate contains flavanoids which stimulate endothelium (lining of arteries). Endothelium produces nitric oxide which signals arteries to relax. It is loaded with copper and magnesium which control the pressure of blood especially in people who suffer from fluctuating BP.
15. Reduces Inflammation in Heart
When we eat chocolate, bacteria in the gut break down the compounds present in dark chocolate and, in turn, convert them into anti-inflammatory compounds which are helpful in lessening the inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Due to slightly bitter taste, chocolate reduces cravings for salty, fatty and sweet food. Chocolate plays a crucial role in promoting fullness which prevents you from overeating and keeps your weight under check.
According to some Italian researchers, daily intake of the moderate amount of chocolate (not more than 40 grams) helps increase insulin insensitivity, thereby lowering the risk of type-2 diabetes.
18. Treats Cough
Surprised? But it’s a fact! A compound found in chocolate considerably reduces the symptoms of chronic and acute coughs.
19. Stress Buster
Too much stress can ruin your entire beauty. Having some chocolate during such time relieves you from unnecessary strain and also gives you happy feeling.
Beauty Benefits of Dark Chocolate
20. Improves Complexion
Having a bar of dark chocolate regularly keeps your skin moist and nourished. Mix some dark chocolate along with caffeine (present in tea or coffee powder) and apply it as a face mask. Wash off when it dries. It acts as a natural skin detoxifier. Besides this, it keeps skin healthy, glowing and flawless.
21. Softer Skin
Chocolate contains cocoa which is enriched with antioxidants. Due to this, it makes your skin soft, smooth and moisturized.
22. Prevents Sunburn
Chocolate protects the skin against harmful UV rays, sunburn, redness, and skin cancer. It also effectively treats other skin problems such as eczema.
23. Promotes Hair Growth
Chocolate promotes blood circulation in the scalp which is beneficial for the healthy growth of hair. It also makes them glossy and even prevents scalp infections. Eating a generous amount of chocolate daily will improve oxygen supply to scalp and thus promote hair growth.
24. Repairs Dry Skin
Chocolate is known to have iron, calcium and loads of vitamins like A, B1, C, D and E. Application of scrub made by combining chocolate, olive oil, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla moisturizes the skin naturally.
25. Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
People who eat chocolate tend to develop less fine lines and wrinkles. Cocoa present in chocolate reduces stress hormone which, in turn, results in less collagen breakdown in the skin and subsequently fewer wrinkles.
Make use of melted dark chocolate as a facial mask to get rid of skin inflammation and reduce acne scars.
Read the contents of dark chocolates before consuming them and pick the one that contains jojoba oil. It provides adequate moisture to the facial skin and lips and thus prevents them from over drying in extreme temperature.