Chocolate is a treat enjoyed by people all around the world in various forms and flavors. Contrary to popular belief that chocolate is bad for you, the truth is that some can be beneficial to your health—assuming you stick to modest portions and avoid overindulging, of course.
Dark chocolate is one example of a treat packed with health benefits. Although it may not be as tasty as having a sweet, sugary bar of white chocolate, cacao can be good for you even in relatively indulgent portions.
While most dark chocolate brands aren’t vegan, there are some plant-based brands out there that make their treats without any animal products. You can even find chocolate plant-based protein from brands like Lyfe Fuel!
Wondering why chocolate is the superfood it is? Here are a few benefits of having some dark chocolate every day:
It Aids Weight Loss
Studies show that eating a piece of dark chocolate 20 minutes before and five minutes after a meal can slash your appetite in half. This is because the cacao-rich varieties of the candy release hormones that make you believe that you are “full.” Sugary chocolates, on the other hand, cause your blood sugar levels to spike, leaving you craving for more sweets or food afterward.
It Fuels Your Brain
Chocolates often contain flavanol, a natural ingredient that promotes healthy blood flow and circulation to the brain. The best part is that cocoa contains a unique form of flavanol, which will benefit your body when enjoyed regularly in moderate amounts.
It is Good for the Skin
Through flavanols, the body is able to work on the proper distribution of nutrients and blood flow all over the body. One of these is the skin, wherein the nutrients of chocolate act as a light shield for your skin. This does not mean skipping on sunblock products, as UV rays are still very strong and can damage your epidermis.
One other thing to mention is that chocolates are a great stress reliever, which in turn contributes to keeping your skin fresh and young.
It Contains Natural Antioxidants
Dark chocolates are packed full of antioxidants, which control your blood pressure and decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease. This works through the flavanols reacting positively with artery linings to produce nitric oxide. Results from this release aid in relaxing the blood pressure and lowering it to healthy levels. A few pieces of dark cacao a day can offer improved health and heightened daily performance.
Research institutions at Harvard University and Columbia University have found that the cocoa plant’s seeds contain 40 times as much antioxidants compared to antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries.
It Can Provide You with an Energy Boost
If you are not a coffee drinker or are struggling to find ways to stay awake during a long day at work, dark chocolate normally contains a good serving of caffeine. With 43 mg of caffeine per hundred grams, these chocolates give you an energy boost without the massive sugar crash that comes with other sweets.
It Invites Happy Hormones
Chocolate is well-loved for a reason—they make people happy! Aside from the amazing taste, chocolate has certain chemical components that make it irresistible. There are compounds that are part of the makeup, which include phenylethylamine that stimulates the body and gives a similar feeling to falling in love. Additionally, dopamine in chocolates exists, which makes it a great antidepressant using naturally-occurring hormones.
These are merely some benefits of dark chocolate products, and having a few pieces of it over the course of your day will definitely be beneficial to your health. However, it is important to scan for sugar content in each product you find, as some may claim to be healthy but are riddled with artificial ingredients and flavorings. For the benefits and essential nutrition of dark chocolate, make sure to try our raspberry dark chocolate protein recovery shake!
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