Chocolate is considered a delicious and nutritious snack, given that it is made from raw cacao, where most of its health benefits come from. Raw cacao, unlike processed cocoa powder and regular chocolate bars, is not exposed to high temperatures, which remove many of its unique health benefits, as previously noted. Here Joanne Washburn, Food.news, reports on eating the right kind of chocolate for health benefits:
“Chocolate is regarded as an indulgent treat because of its high sugar content. In fact, there’s not much else to milk chocolate bars and candies found at the supermarket besides sugar and the long list of health issues and complications related to it.
But chocolate isn’t all that bad. It might sound too good to be true, but dark chocolate – a kind of chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao – has some significant health benefits. Nonetheless, like most foods, it’s still best consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Reported health benefits
Dark chocolate tastes like a decadent indulgence. But it boasts some science-backed health benefits that establish it as a superfood to beat. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Contains essential nutrients
Most of dark chocolate’s reported health benefits can be attributed to its incredible nutritional profile. In particular, dark chocolate contains fiber, potassium, calcium, copper and magnesium.
It does contain a sizable chunk of calories and fat, so it’s still best to be mindful of portions and intake. Some dark chocolate might also list added sugars and other artificial ingredients, so don’t forget to check the label. Those labeled “organic” and “70 percent cacao” are ideal.
Supports heart health
The Cacao plant produces antioxidants that end up concentrated in its beans. These antioxidants include flavonoids, one of the most potent antioxidants in cacao, which have been found to help reduce blood pressure, boost blood circulation and promote optimal heart health.
This rich antioxidant content is one of the major features of dark chocolate that distinguish it from milk chocolate, a kind of processed chocolate that contains milk and added sugars. If in doubt, remember that the more cacao chocolate contains, the more antioxidants it can offer.
Boosts brain and mental health
Dark chocolate can be a delicious and nutritious comfort snack, too. Multiple studies found that the antioxidants in dark chocolate can reduce stress and mitigate its effects on the brain.
These antioxidants also stimulate those areas of the brain responsible for pleasure, happiness and learning.
Reduces diabetes risk
It might sound odd that a product that contains sugar could minimize the risk of diabetes, but it’s true. Clinical trials demonstrate that eating dark chocolate rich in cacao can make it easier for our bodies to process glucose, thus leading to better blood sugar control.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2020-08-29-dark-chocolate-health-benefits.html
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