From babies to the elderly, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like chocolate. From chocolate bars to chocolate cakes, chocolate milk shakes, chocolate brownies, chocolate biscuits, everything is delicious. There are different types of chocolate. Among them is the ‘Dark chocolate“Not only satisfies the taste buds, but also the soul. The habit of eating dark chocolate offers a number of benefits to the mind and body. Let’s find out the health benefits and nutritional values of dark chocolate.
What is dark chocolate? How is it different from normal chocolates?
The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa beans, which are high in antioxidants and good for our bodies. Usually the cocoa has a bitter taste and fat or sugar is usually added to remove the bitter taste of chocolate. But in this process the quality of the chocolate is lost. So, to get the benefits of chocolate, you must be eating at least 70% or more of the cocoa in chocolate.
Dark chocolate is one of the food ingredients full of antioxidants. It’s basically a form of chocolate that contains cocoa butter and solid cocoa. In contrast to normal chocolate, it contains neither milk nor butter. Usually dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. However, the amount of butter is extremely small.
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Common types of dark chocolate
Usually dark chocolates differ in the availability of the percentage of cocoa in the bar. Usually the most common types of dark chocolate are bittersweet, semi-sweet, and sweet.
Although the best quality dark chocolate should be contain at least 70% solid cocoa, the cocoa content in commercially available dark chocolate can start at 30%. Usually, commercially made dark chocolates contain 30-80% or more for extremely dark or bitter bars.
The bitterness depends on the cocoa content. That is why the chocolate brands put the percentage of dark ones at the level so that buyers can shop according to their needs.
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How is dark chocolate made?
Solid cocoa and cocoa butter are the main ingredients of dark chocolate. However, 100% cocoa dark chocolate has an extremely bitter taste and may not be edible. So, to make it edible, manufacturers add milk ingredients and sugar to reduce the bitterness. In addition, chocolate mass and cocoa powder are also added. But the cocoa content remains higher than in other normal types of chocolate.
Benefits of dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in biological ingredients that act as antioxidants. These ingredients are polyphenols, flavonols, etc. One study suggests that dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than many fruits. While antioxidants prevent cell damage, they also work in cancer prevention. In addition, dark chocolates have other health benefits as well.
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Improves heart health
The antioxidant ingredients found in dark chocolate can increase good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. So consuming dark chocolate every day can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Studies have shown that dark chocolate is more beneficial than milk chocolate. The study also found that dark chocolate can reduce the risk of dying from heart problems by 50% over 15 years.
Depression can affect our body and mind, and various deadly diseases become lodged in the body. Regular consumption of dark chocolate can help fight depression. The antioxidant-rich ingredients in dark chocolate regulate blood flow to the brain. This releases a type of hormone that helps keep the mind fresh. Other nutrients in dark chocolate also help increase mental strength by storing energy in the body.
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Balances the cholesterol
When the cholesterol levels in the body rise, many problems can arise. The first problem that occurs after a cholesterol spike is heart disease. Dark chocolate is one of the most important elements in lowering cholesterol in the body and thus protecting the heart from disease.
Studies have shown that the antioxidant ingredients and polyphenols in cocoa powder help the body lower bad cholesterol levels and produce good cholesterol. As a result, the level of cholesterol in the body is kept under control and the problem of high cholesterol does not arise. Therefore, all patients with cholesterol-related problems should consume some dark chocolate on a daily basis.
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Source of antioxidants
As we already know, dark chocolate is one of the most important sources of antioxidants. The flavonols in dark chocolate are high in antioxidants. This helps us improve heart health, fight deadly diseases like cancer, and improve brain function.
Improve brain function
The flavonols in dark chocolate can improve a person’s mood. It can also improve brain health in adults. Dark chocolate also helps improve nervous system health, so older people can get dark chocolate on a daily basis to improve their health if they have a mild mental disorder.
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Controls blood pressure
Dark chocolate stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the body, which in turn increases blood flow and eliminates blood pressure problems. The ingredients in cocoa help the body lower bad cholesterol and produce good cholesterol.
This keeps blood pressure under control. For those who suffer from low or high blood pressure, dark chocolate is one of the special ingredients that help control blood pressure and regulate blood flow in the body.
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Side effects of dark chocolate
Dark chocolate can have some side effects if used excessively. Because dark chocolate is rich in cocoa, it is high in caffeine. Excessive consumption can therefore lead to anxiety.
The caffeine in dark chocolate can cause heart problems in sensitive people. Hence, people with such problems should avoid excessive dark chocolate.
The caffeine found in dark chocolate can cause a number of problems in the body. This can lead to problems like diarrhea, glaucoma, high blood pressure, stomach problems, osteoporosis.
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So, if you are faced with such a problem, a medical consultation is needed before consuming dark chocolate.
How Much Dark Chocolate Can You Eat Every Day?
Although dark chocolate is good for the body, overeating can lead to health problems. Consequently, Experts recommend Take 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60 grams of dark chocolate daily. However, before buying dark chocolate, keep in mind that there are different types of dark chocolate. And you should buy for the ingredients that you need.
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