Thursday (July 7, 2022) was World Chocolate Day 2022, and chocoholics are celebrating by purchasing and exchanging chocolates or preparing their favorite treats. Every year on July 7 we commemorate the day chocolate was introduced to Europe. While fitness and health experts caution against excessive consumption, there are health benefits associated with enjoying this sweet treat in moderation.
Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that eating chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is beneficial to one’s health. This delicious food is a rich source of antioxidants, plays a role in improving cognitive function, is a storehouse of minerals, and has anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, you should not eliminate it from your diet and consume it in moderation since it is considered as one of the superfoods.
Dr. Kiran Rukadikar, Bariatric Physician and Obesity Consultant, celebrity nutritionist, and creator of the DietQueen App, discusses the incredible health benefits of dark chocolate.
Full of antioxidants: Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, a potent type of antioxidant also found in berries, green and black tea, and red wine. These polyphenols protect the body’s cells from free radicals caused by environmental toxins and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation.
Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol: Dark chocolate consumption improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure, reduces LDL blood cholesterol (bad cholesterol), increases HDL blood cholesterol (good cholesterol), improves vascular function, and reduces the risk of stroke. Daily consumption of dark chocolate for four weeks restored arterial elasticity and prevented white blood cells from adhering to blood vessel walls.
Improves cognitive function: Consuming dark chocolate improves visual and cognitive functions significantly. Participants who consumed a dark-chocolate drink mix for 30 days demonstrated “significantly increased self-rated calmness and contentment relative to placebo.”
Mineral strength: Copper (25 percent), calcium (2 percent), iron (19 percent), magnesium (16 percent), potassium (6 percent), and zinc are the daily recommended amounts of minerals found in one ounce of dark chocolate (the recommended daily serving) (6 percent).
Anti-inflammatory properties: It has been demonstrated that phytochemicals in dark chocolate have anti-inflammatory properties. Simply monitor the sugar content, as sugar is an inflammatory substance. To obtain the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits from chocolate, choose varieties with a high cocoa content and minimal sugar.
Good for diabetes: Dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic adults by lowering glucose levels.