Dark chocolate is one among the rare foods that are both tasty and abundant with health benefits. So, it’s no wonder that people clamour to get their hands on a bar of dark chocolate. But what makes dark chocolate so beneficial for the health? What components give that the coveted reputation of being healthy and nutritious? Let’s see the 5 crucial benefits offered by dark chocolate:
- It is a great source of antioxidants: A term called ORAC jas to be introduced here. It’s the abbreviation for “oxygen radical absorbance capacity”, and is usually employed to gauge the antioxidant activity of various foods. What the researchers perform to facilitate their experiment is to place a bunch of free radicals against a sample of the food that needs to be tested and then they scrutinize the efficacy with which the antioxidants in the food neutralize the radicals.
While some people in the scientific community are apprehensive about the biological relevance of the ORAC values and remain dubious about the extrapolation of experimental results to a real human being. But, the ORAC results of raw cocoa beans are still significant enough to be enthusiastic about as they are among the top-scoring foods that have been tested. Dark chocolate brims with organic compounds that are biologically activated and demonstrate the ability to function as antioxidants. Some of the common ones are flavonols, polyphenols and catechins.
- Has the ability to raise HDL and protect LDL from oxidation: Dark chocolate makes you far less vulnerable to many heart diseases. It shields the LDL from oxidation and also manages to increase the HDL content in the body. In addition to these perks, the components in dark chocolate can also develop insulin sensitivity.
- Dark chocolate can enhance blood flow and can also reduce blood pressure: The flavanols that constitute an integral part of dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, which is the lining of the arteries, to create Nitric Oxide(NO). One of the crucial roles of NO is to send signals to the arteries, prompting them to relax. What this achieves is the lowering of the resistance to blood flow which in turn is concomitant to a reduction in blood pressure.
- Makes you less susceptible to heart disease: As mentioned earlier, the constituents of dark chocolate are vigilant in its protection of the LDL against oxidation. When this advantage is extrapolated to many years and decades, we tend to see a conspicuous reduction in the risk for cholesterol lodging in the arteries. This further contributes to the decrease in the risk of heart disease. So apart embracing dark chocolate yourself, you must also exhort your friends and family members to develop a habit of eating the same!
Dark chocolate can protect your skin from the scorching sun: Flavanols from cocoa enhances blood flow to the skin, which contributes to a reduction in the risk of skin damage.