Thursday, 27 June 2013

Natural wonders: Dark Chocolate

Natural wonders: Dark Chocolate

It’s probably the best news you’d hear… medical studies have shown that dark chocolate can be mighty good for you!

Dark chocolate, it’s good for you!
Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, that grow on a cocoa tree. Research shows that a high percentage of cocoa, as found in dark chocolate, packs in a variety of plant nutrients that can be good for your cardiovascular health, your skin and more.

Loaded with flavonoids, essential minerals and antioxidants, some experts equate dark chocolate and cocoa with the goodness of green tea and blueberries. But, remember to not go on a binging spree, but to eat in moderation.

Health benefits of dark chocolate:
A healthy dose of antioxidants: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants found aplenty in nuts, berries, green tea and the likes, which helps fight free radicals that can damage your health. Research has shown that the antioxidants found in this delicacy can help protect you against cancer, premature ageing, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

Sweet news for your blood sugar: Dark chocolate, a healthy dessert option, can fulfill your cravings for sweets and also keep your blood sugar in check. Dark chocolate has a low glycaemic index, which means it won’t raise your blood sugar levels, of course, when eaten in moderation. 

Minerals your body needs: Dark chocolate packs in many essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron that do your body good in many ways.

The feel good factor: There is no denying that chocolate is a mood enhancer. Chocolate contains chemical compounds like theobromine, caffeine and phenylethylamine, which release endorphins that create a pleasurable feeling. So if you’re feeling blue, bite into a piece of dark chocolate to feel better. Sans any guilt!

Toast to a healthy heart: Polyphenols found in dark chocolate inhibit oxidation of LDL known as bad cholesterol (Read more about cholesterol reducing foods here), thereby preventing heart disease. When this waxy substance (LDL) sticks to your artery walls (through the process of oxidation), it can put you at risk of heart disease.

Keeps blood pressure in check: Another means by which dark chocolate benefits cardiovascular health  is by keeping your blood pressure under check (Watch cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty speak about symptoms of heart attack). Studies show that eating dark chocolate in moderation can help lower blood pressure, so eat a small piece everyday and reap its benefits.


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