The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

November 23, 2020


We spend most of our lives being told that chocolate should be a snack, or something we eat in moderation. While this may be true for some types of chocolates such as milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate actually has many health benefits. 

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3 Benefits of Dark Chocolate

From mood boosting to heart health and diabetes assistance, dark chocolate deserves a dedicated spot in your fridge, freezer or pantry. 

Here are some reasons why dark chocolate is a hidden superfood.

Dark Chocolate Contains Essential Nutrients

The main difference between dark chocolate and your typical milk chocolate is that dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa compared to the 10-50% in milk chocolate. The higher amount of cocoa found in dark chocolate is the big distinguishing factor here. Cocoa is high in nutrients such as iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and more.

Dark Chocolate Can Lead to 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. A specific 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.

Dark Chocolate Can Boost Your Mood

Depression is a common condition many people will face at some point in their lives. It can have a substantial effect on your everyday routines. 

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 that eating dark chocolate can bring, you might be wondering how you can make the food a part of your everyday diet. 

Eating a small 1.6-ounce bar of dark chocolate a day is the ideal amount to receive the health benefits while avoiding over indulging. 

In addition to eating the chocolate bars, you can add dark chocolate to enhance many recipes. 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 mood boosting, cardiovascular health benefits and essential dietary nutrients, 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 in a Moorings Park community. To learn more or to speak with a member of our team, contact us today.

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