Chocolate isn’t all bad. It has been shown to demonstrate some health benefits, but these benefits are moderated by the amount of sugar and concentration of cacao.
- Flavonoids in dark chocolate induce nitric oxide that relax blood vessels and therefore lower blood pressure
- Flavonoids can also reduce oxidative stress which is linked to insulin resistance, therefore there may reduce diabetes risk. Less oxidative stress may also benefit the ageing process and reduce cancer risk by limiting free radical formation (epicatechin and quercetin are the flavonoids believed to have cancer-fighting properties)
- Chocolate can stimulate neural activity and serotonin levels, which can enhance cognitive function, decrease stress and improve mood
- It can stimulate beneficial bacterial growth in our gut (prebiotic), supporting digestion and metabolism
- Abundance of micronutrients, such as copper, iron, magnesium and manganese (the latter produces collagen for healthy skin)
- Together with a handful of almonds, dark chocolate or unsweetened cacao can significantly reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)
So on National Chocolate Day (October 28th), it’s ok to enjoy some dark chocolate – share it around!
- Journal of Community and Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives
- Frontiers in Pharmacology
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry
- Journal of the American Society of Hypertension
- Journal of the American Heart Association
- Antioxidants & Redox Signaling