Dark chocolate is among the countless derivatives of cacao beans. It tastes a little bitter and thus not very popular among many people. But it has many health and beauty benefits to offer which makes it more preferable than the regular varieties of chocolate.
Like its parent fruit, dark chocolate is also packed with potent antioxidants and has various essential nutrients which help you to stay healthy and beautiful. Powerful antioxidants like flavonoids help to avoid cardiovascular disorders and reduce risks of strokes. In addition, it also works to keep your blood cholesterol level and blood pressure in check. Seamless vision is another health benefit offered by this magical ingredient.
Throughout its history, chocolate — “the food of the Gods” — has remained a symbol of luxury, wealth, and power. During the 14th century, the Aztecs and Mayans even used cacao beans as currency.
The Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs valued cacao for its mood enhancing and aphrodisiac properties, and it was typically reserved for the ruling class.
In the 17th century, cocoa and chocolate were considered potential medicine, and historical documents in Europe reveal they were used to treat angina and heart pain.
This article is all about the benefits of consuming dark chocolate; skim through the full post and find everything you want to know about it—its skin & hair care benefits:
- Dark chocolate is a skin-friendly ingredient that helps to keep your skin healthy, glowing and just flawless.
- With great sun protection properties, it shields your skin against harmful UV rays and thus helps in preventing conditions like sunburns and skin cancer.
3. Regular consumption of dark chocolate helps you achieve a smooth, problem-free complexion. It also keeps your skin moist and well nourished.
4. Dark chocolate makes an excellent skin-detoxifier in combination with caffeine. It sloughs off the dead skin cells and allows the newly exposed, fresh skin to breathe freely.
5. Stress is a huge beauty bummer. If not checked, it can ruin your entire personality. Dark chocolate boasts wonderful stress-relieving qualities and work wonders in getting you a glowing skin by reducing elevated stress hormones.
6. It helps in promoting blood circulation in the scalp which leads to increased growth of healthy, lustrous locks. Thanks to being a circulation-booster, it is also found to be very effective in reducing hair loss.
7. Infused with the goodness of several hair-benefiting ingredients, dark chocolate improves the overall health of your tresses, making them super-glossy and voluminous.
8. With incredible anti-inflammatory properties, it also helps reduce the odds of getting scalp infections.
9. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants such as flavonoids. Antioxidants are the best elements that a body can receive or produce as they have the capacity to prevent aging by free radicals that can also cause heart diseases.
10. It is hard to believe that a sugar-enriched substance can balance the blood sugar levels, but it is true! The amount of sugar in dark chocolate does not affect your body much as its glycemic index is low. And the flavonoids that it is enriched with aids the influence that insulin offers on the sugar levels.
11. It is no myth that cholesterol clogs the veins and arteries and doesn’t let them function normally. But dark chocolate serves to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the arteries and heart.
12. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help in curing anemia and providing a treatment to those with a poor diet.
13. Studies have also shown that the flavonoids in dark chocolate help to improve blood flow to the brain. This further helps improve eyesight also on account of better blood flow.
14. Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as copper and magnesium which are responsible for keeping the blood pressure normal especially in case of people with excessive fluctuation in their BP.
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa has :
• 11 grams of fiber.
• 67% of the RDA for Iron.
• 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
• 89% of the RDA for Copper.
• 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
• It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
But of course, this doesn’t mean people should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat on. Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to really savor them.
Dark chocolates often contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
I hope this article on health benefits of dark chocolate helps you take care of your overall health.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.