Satisfy your sweet tooth and positively impact your health at the same time, just eat some dark chocolate. Believe it or not, it is actually loaded with nutrients, two of which include cocoa, an amazing source of antioxidants; and soluble fiber, which aids in the health of your digestive system.
“One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included blueberries and Acai berries,” according to authoritynutrition.com.
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Swap out your milk chocolate for dark chocolate, here are 6 healthy reasons to eat dark chocolate.
1. It helps enhance your memory- The cocoas found in chocolate contain flavanols, which are proven to have positive cognitive enhancing effects. According to Be Brain Fit, “a study at Harvard Medical School found that drinking two cups of hot chocolate increased blood flow to the brain for 2-3 hours.” Therefore, this increased blood flow to the brain leads to a boost in memory and enhanced problem-solving skills.
2. It helps protect your skin- Believe it or not, you can eat delicious foods and maintain healthy skin too. Dark chocolate has a wide range of antioxidants, flavonoids specifically, that are said to help fight wrinkles, improve blood flow and protect your skin from UV damage.
3. Aids in digestion- Yes, you can curb your sweet tooth and keep your gut healthy at the same time. Research has discovered that certain bacteria in your gut break down and ferment the components in dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial to your health, according to Dr. Mercola.
4. It improves your heart health- Chocolate is believed to help protect your cardiovascular system. This is because it contains flavonoids, flavanols and other antioxidants. Flavanols have been shown to have a positive influence on vascular health. They help improve blood flow to the heart, lower blood pressure and make blood platelets less likely to form a clot.
5. Healthier teeth- Cocoa protects your teeth. It has antibacterial compounds that stop the formation of plaque and biofilms, ultimately preventing cavities from forming.
6. Reduces stress- Some studies have shown that dark chocolate may play a role in regulating hormones. According to Health Magazine, the cocoa in dark chocolate can trigger a relaxation effect in the walls of your blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. Plus, new research shows that this sweet treat may even be able to provide a midday energy boost.