Do you love dark chocolate? If so, you’re sure to be happy to learn that this is a treat you can enjoy without guilt, even while on a weight loss diet. Benefits of dark chocolate range from lowering your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels to reducing appetite. Therefore, eating a few pieces of the delicious treat is great for both your body and soul.
The most important thing to remember, however, is that consuming too much dark chocolate can negate all its benefits. CNN warns that overindulging in this treat will give you too much fat and sugar for it to be healthy. You also need to bear in mind that dark chocolate is very nutritious and high in calories. You should plan your calorie intake for the day wisely and account for this dessert to ensure it actually benefits your weight loss program.
Top 4 Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Health and Beauty
1. Cognitive boost and reduced risk of dementia
The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study determined that people who consumed darker chocolate performed better ion cognitive tests. The study was focused on the effects of ageing and it appears that the benefits of antioxidants in cocoa are good not only for keeping your skin wrinkle-free.
Paging people with a lifelong habit of eating small amounts of dark chocolate also have a lower risk of dementia. Considering the increasing occurrence of this horrible disease, such protection is a tremendous benefit. So if you aren’t into dark chocolate yet, you can start right now and stick with that daily piece of cocoa goodness.
2. Reduced appetite
Many people are quite shocked to see ‘eat dark chocolate’ as one of the most effective tips on the subject of how to control your appetite. This food is extremely good for weight loss if you enjoy chocolate with over 70% of cocoa and don’t try to eat an entire bar in one go.
Not only does the bitterness of dark chocolate help reduce appetite by stimulating your taste buds the right way. This product is also nutrient-dense and contains a lot of dietary fibre. This means that it will keep you feeling satiated longer.
You can also enjoy benefits of dark chocolate by adding a spoonful of cocoa powder to your dietary smoothies and sports shakes. This will give the drinks a pleasant chocolate flavour and won’t add too many fats or sugar, which you get when eating chocolate bars.
3. Reduced risk of heart disease
Cardiovascular heart disease remains the number one killer in the world, and modern diets with lots of saturated fats and processed foods increase its risk. Many studies indicate that dark chocolate can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood and thus reduce the risk of heart disease. One of the latest studies published in the Clinical Nutrition journal shows that regular intake of dark chocolate can reduce this risk by over 50%.
Note that the same study showed that consuming non-chocolate candy increased the same risk by nearly as much. This means that while sugar is bad for your heart, dark chocolate is definitely the opposite. But remember that it’s only dark chocolate benefits that include such positive effects. Milk or white chocolate has none and their high fat and sugar content erases what little good there was in them from the cocoa.
4. Lower stress levels and better mood
It’s common knowledge today that eating dark chocolate makes you happier. Literally. This food boosts the level of serotonin, which is the element that makes humans feel happy.
Dark chocolate also proved to lower the levels of stress hormones, including cortisol. This means that eating a few pieces of bitter chocolate on your relaxation days will boost their overall efficiency and help you ‘recharge’ before the next week of hard work.