Over time especially while growing, a lot of people have the belief that chocolates are unhealthy and can be harmful to the body and can add excessive fats, and calories. Some of these things were said to discourage growing children from excessive consumption of chocolate and although I agree that they may be right but that is if you take unhealthy chocolate and in excess, I have also come to learn that they are healthy chocolates with amazing health benefits.
It is true that a lot of the commercial chocolates around are highly processed, and this processing takes away or reduces drastically the much desired nutrients present in cocoa. However, there are also good and healthy chocolates such as dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is made form the cocoa seed and is very rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can affect your health positively.
It is important to have in mind that these benefits stem from cocoa, hence any chocolate with cocoa percentage of around seventy per cent or more is healthy chocolate.
Milk chocolate or lighter chocolate are most times mixed with milk, sugar or fats, this may rip the chocolate of their much needed nutrients. This is why dark chocolate is your best bet when it comes to healthy chocolate. Dark chocolate has several surprisingly amazing benefits.
Dark Chocolate is very rich in antioxidants: There are loads of compounds organic in nature that are present in cocoa, dark chocolate that function as antioxidants. Some of these include Catechins, Polyphenols, flavanols. Emphasis is being placed on dark chocolate and not chocolate mixed with milk or eaten with milk. This is because milk is believed to interfere with the absorption of antioxidants derived from the cocoa content in the chocolate in the body, this may negate the amazing benefits of these antioxidants. The antioxidants in dark chocolate are very powerful and helps protect against oxidative damage in the body.
Dark chocolate is good for your skin: Dark chocolate contains bio-active compounds and flavanols that can help protect the skin from damages caused by the sun, it also increases blood flow to the skin and hydration.
Dark Chocolate is super-good for your heart health: Cocoa from which dark chocolate is gotten is rich in flavanoids, a class of nutrients present in plant. Flavanoids may help protect and maintain the heart, cardiovascular health. Also, consumption of dark chocolate can help lower the risk of heart diseases by reducing the levels of “bad cholesterol” and increasing the levels of “good chocolate”.
We would continue in Part II of this series on chocolates as we look at more health benefits that can be harnessed from dark chocolate.