Now here’s a guilt-free way to satiate yourself when you’re craving chocolate: go to the dark side. Dark chocolate is considered to be a much healthier option as opposed to milk or white chocolate. Some health experts would even suggest that you take a healthy serving of dark chocolate daily for your nutritional needs. Aside from satisfying your craving for that chocolate-y goodness, and propelling your mood a notch higher, here are other reasons why you should give in and enjoy dark chocolate.
1. Potent with Antioxidants
Cacao contains certain pigments called flavanoids, which act as antioxidants, contributing to the cleansing of your body. They absorb free radicals and other destructive elements, thereby helping you avoid illnesses. Moreover, they say that a healthy dose of antioxidants daily can help slow your body’s aging process. Milk, on the other hand, can interfere with your body’s absorption of these antioxidants. For this reason, it’s best to reach for that dark, flavorful chocolate bar instead. Not only will you feel happier, you’ll look younger as well.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
The higher the cocoa percentage in dark chocolate, the more it helps the body in processing nitric acid. Nitric acid is needed for the body to perform optimally, and this results in lowering your blood pressure. Dark chocolate also contains some chemicals that help relax your blood vessels. Some studies have shown that about 30 calories’ worth of dark chocolate a day for 18 straight weeks can help reduce your blood pressure by as much as 3 points. Lower blood pressure means lower chances of a heart disease as well. Make sure though that you scrimp on other high-calorie foods if you intend to make dark chocolate a daily habit.
3. Good for the Heart
Not only does chocolate boost your mood, the high content of flavonoids in dark chocolate greatly helps in reducing heart disease. There is an abundance of this chemical is present in dark chocolate, and research has shown this to help protect against some chronic and cardiovascular diseases. Flavenoids attack fatty substances that can collect in your bloodstream, thus preventing clogged arteries and promoting a healthier blood flow. A good dose of dark chocolate then helps in lowering the risk for strokes and heart attacks. So the next time you want to be good to your heart, reach for some dark chocolate.
4. Mood Lift
It’s a proven scientific fact that eating chocolate is processed by the brain in the same way as falling in love does. So when you need an instant pick-me-upper, pop in some chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more of these happy chemicals than milk or white chocolate. That is because cacao contains a compound that helps the brain release endorphins–the same feel-good chemicals you have when you exercise or feel extremely happy. This will help decrease anxiety and depression, and will make you feel more relaxed.