For the majority of our lives, we are often advised to view chocolate as a treat to be enjoyed sparingly or in moderation. Although this may hold true for certain types of chocolate, like milk and white, it is important to recognize the numerous health advantages that dark chocolate has to offer.
Three Benefits of Dark Chocolate
From its mood boosting properties to its ability to assist with heart health and diabetes, here’s why the superfood dark chocolate deserves a dedicated spot in your fridge, freezer, or pantry.
1. Dark Chocolate Contains Essential Nutrients
The main difference between dark and milk chocolate is that dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa compared to the 10-50% in milk chocolate. The high amount of cocoa found in dark chocolate is the biggest distinguishing factor between the two versions. Since cocoa is high in nutrients such as iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and more, dark chocolate will contain a higher percentage of these vitamins and minerals as well.
2. Dark Chocolate Can Give You a Happy Heart
Heart health is extremely important, and one of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart is to eat the right foods. One of those foods can be dark chocolate.
A flavonoid called flavanol is found in abundance in most dark chocolate. Flavanol is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and is found in other superfoods, such as kale and broccoli. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, regular consumption of dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and can even aid in the circulation of blood.
3. Dark Chocolate Can Boost Your Mood
One of the chemicals found in dark chocolate is called theobromine. Similar to caffeine, theobromine can cause a boost in energy and enhance your mood when consumed.
In addition to theobromine, cocoa contains phenethylamine, which is a dopamine releasing chemical that can help with mood and attention.
How You Can Incorporate Dark Chocolate into Your Diet
Now that you know some of the health benefits of eating dark chocolate, you might be wondering how you can make the food a part of your everyday diet.
Eating a 1.6-ounce bar of dark chocolate a day is the ideal amount to receive the health benefits.
In addition to eating chocolate bars, you can add dark chocolate to enhance many recipes or replace milk chocolate for dark chocolate in the recipes that you are already familiar with. For example, you can make a healthy salted chocolate and oatmeal smoothie or dark chocolate cherry granola bars.
When baking with cocoa, be sure to use the highest percentage of cocoa you can find. You can get 90-100% baking cocoa at most grocery stores.
In moderation, dark chocolate can be a tasty superfood to add to your everyday diet. With its essential dietary nutrients and mood boosting, cardiovascular health benefits, dark chocolate in moderation can be a tasty superfood to add to your everyday diet.
Moorings Park Communities is dedicated to providing healthy, fulfilling dietary options for all of our residents through a variety of casual and fine dining options, programs, and more. Learn how to live a balanced life and discover the keys to health, happiness, and longevity at a Moorings Park community. To learn more or to speak with a member of our team, contact us today.