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If you are one of those craving for a dark chocolate everyday, now you have an excuse- or six. A dark chocolate with cacao content over 60% with a bitter taste is beneficial for your health. Chocolates are made from parts of the cacao tree which is known as ‘Theobrama cacao’ in Latin which when translates into ‘food of the gods.’ Dark chocolate is made from raw cacao beans being rich source of Flavanols which are antioxidants. The flavanols taste bitter and therefore if your chocolate doesnt taste bitter, it means the flavanols have been cut down.
The flavanols improve vascular, cognitive function and provide ultra violet protection for skin.Dark chocolate has high concentration of theobromine which is an alkaloid which stimulates relaxing effects in the body. It is also rich in soluble fibre, antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
Dark chocolate contains fats and calories but not the ones that steer you in getting obese but instead helps your body in lowering cholesterol.
The listed are the six amazing benefits of dark chocolate:
1. Lowers blood pressure
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Dark chocolate can help in lowering blood pressure as it contains high magnesium content. Based on studies, eating dark chocolate raises the levels of nitric oxide in your body which helps in lowering overall blood pressure.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
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Studies say that, eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts will increase the level of HDL which is good cholesterol and decreases the levels of LDL which is bad cholesterol which inturn helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
3. Improves functioning of Brain
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It helps in protecting your brain from ageing, sharpens the brain which helps you stay focused. Studies suggest that consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate every day can boost your memory by almost 30%.
4. Improves Heart Health
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Dark chocolate promotes a healthy heart, according to a study done by researchers at the Wageningen University in Netherlands in 2015. . There has been another study in 2014 at the American Chemical Society (ACS) which shows that, dark chocolate gets fermented by the gut bacteria present in the stomach and turns into anti-inflammatory compounds which are good for the heart. Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate every day can lower heart related diseases.
5. Helps you control cravings
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Researches prove that dark chocolate makes you feel full for a longer time. Dark chocolate contains monounsaturated fatty acids which are known to boost your metabolism and burns fat. It is known to slower the process of digestion and therefore curbs cravings.
6. Weight control
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According to a study in 2012, by the University of California individuals who ate dark chocolate few times a week are slimmer when compared to the ones who ate dark chocolate occasionally. Another study said that, dark chocolate helps you curb weight gain when consumed as dessert after meals.
By Shrithika Kushangi