Need I say more? Just kidding! Of course I am going to say more because this is a blog post - I can't just have a heading and expect you to be happy. Chocolate is an indulgence that has many health benefits IF you are eating the right kind.
That's right - Milk Chocolate does not have the health benefits that Dark Chocolate has. So if you don't currently eat dark chocolate, you need to gain an appreciation for it. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content is what you need to look for in order to get the health benefits. There are plenty of products out there with at least 70% cocoa and at the end of this post, I list a few of my favorites.
Now let's get into the health benefits - you are going to be shocked!
HIGH ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY
Dark chocolate is loaded with polyphenols and flavanols. These are antioxidants that are found in fruits like blueberries & acai berries. Antioxidants are powerful substances that help to remove damaging oxidizing agents in our bodies.*
IMPROVED BLOOD FLOW
The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of our arteries to create nitric oxide. Nitric oxide tells the arteries to relax which helps blood flow more easily throughout the body.*
RAISES HDL - THE GOOD CHOLESTEROL
This is my favorite health benefit of dark chocolate! Since dark chocolate is an antioxidant it has properties that may increase HDL. There was a study done on men with cocoa powder that resulted in HDL levels raising in men with elevated total cholesterol levels.*
IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION
Since dark chocolate can increase blood flow, another benefit is improved brain function. It doesn't matter how old or how young you are to get this benefit. There have been studies in healthy individuals as well in elderly people and there were benefits for both populations.*
The above are just a few of the health benefits of dark chocolate. So now it is time to eat it! Here are some of my favorite products containing at least 70% cocoa. If you try any, please let me know what you think of them. Follow my blog on Bloglovin.