The health benefits of dark chocolate are backed by strong scientific evidence, supporting dark chocolate as a worthy holder of true superfood status. The latest studies on dark chocolate with high levels of cacao (pure cocoa), meaning above 80%, are now ranking dark chocolate up there with the most antioxidant rich foods readily available to us. This is due to their concentrations of polyphenols and other antioxidants which fight free radicals.
Unfortunately, to get the true health boosting benefits of dark chocolate you need to make sure you are eating a high quality dark chocolate with a cacao percentage of 80% plus, although ideally 90% plus if you can handle it. This means that milk chocolate is off limits if you want to use chocolate as a superfood. This is due to the high amounts of sugar and dairy in milk chocolate and consequently low amounts of cacao and health boosting polyphenols.
The Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate (with 80% plus cacao) is full of healthy fats which fuel our brains, as well as antioxidants which have now been shown to have some very exciting health benefits. Here are just a few examples that we hope will make you reconsider your chocolate eating habits in favour of a little bit of dark!
Dark Chocolate Will Benefit Your Heart Health
Polyphenol rich dark chocolate was shown in a recent study to actually reduce the risk of several cardio metabolic disorders such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and the related health problems such as obesity and hypertension. The results confirmed that high levels of dark chocolate consumption reduced cardiovascular disease by 37% and strokes by 29% when compared with low polyphenol consumption!
These astounding health benefits are due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and protective compounds contained in dark chocolate such as the polyphenols which are strongly protective against our environments free radicals and flavanoids like epicatechin which has been shown to protect the brain after a stroke.
Bottom Line: Polyphenol rich dark chocolate consumption reduces the risk of several cardio metabolic conditions significantly including heart attack risk.
Dark Chocolate Improves Cholesterol
A UK based study on the effects of polyphenol rich dark chocolate on the cholesterol of Type 2 Diabetes patients revealed that with daily consumption of dark chocolate healthy HDL Cholesterol increased significantly along with an overall reduction in cholesterol. These amazing health benefits of dark chocolate, improving the Cholesterol: HDL ratio were observed without affecting the patiens weight, inflammation, or insulin sensivity making the results even more impressive.
It seems that high fat ultra pure chocolate is actually just what we need to reduce our cholesterol, another nod in favour of the high healthy fat in the diet!
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate improves overall cholesterol without negative side effects.
Dark Chocolate's Many Other Health Benefits
The health benefits of dark chocolate are extensive and to deeply cover each one would take forever so if you need more reasons to give ultra strong dark chocolate a try here are some other health benefits:
- Improves alertness
- Lower Alzheimers risk
- More energy
- Improved exercise endurance
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate has a myriad of amazing benefits for those who regularly eat it
Give it a try
Dark chocolate is not to everyones taste, especially when transitioning from sugar and dairy rich milk chocolates; but for those who do replace their milk chocolate with something a little darker, you will be opening yourself up to one of the most potent antioxidant and protective foods we can eat. Even if you do not like the taste of dark chocolate, the health benefits are worth finding a way to include it in your diet. Try our Blueberry and Dark Chocolate smoothie for a delicious way to get a good serving of dark chocolate in your diet.
The health benefits above confirm good quality dark chocolate as a true superfood powerhouse, give it a try as a snack or direct replacement for high sugar treats with amazing health benefits but without the guilt.