Easter Time is always a special treat and Chocolate is one of my all-time favourite foods because it’s as equally nutritious as it is delicious. There are ways to use chocolate that are delicious and you can reap the health benefits of cacao.
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.
Made from the seed of the cacao tree, it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find.
Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Here are 8 Great benefits of delicious & nutritious dark chocolate;
1. Heavenly Nutritious
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it’s quite nutritious. Dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains a decent amount of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
Of course, along with these nutrients, enjoying a dark chocolate treat also can be calorific and can contain significant amounts of sugar, For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.
2. Fabulously Fatty
The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is beneficial. The fats consist mostly of oleic, stearic acid, and palmitic acid.
3. An Awesome-Tasting Antioxidant.
Dark Chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, among others. Your gut bacteria love polyphenols and these foods help them thrive. Dive deeper into the powerful healing powers of Cacao and try this Cacao Ceremony for alternative fun easter activity.
4. Better your Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure.
The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce nitric oxide (NO)
One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure. Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
5. Dark Chocolate Is Good For The Heart
Chocolate Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation, what does this mean?
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity. The flavanols in dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for diseases like heart disease and diabetes
6. On the Contrary – Chocolate is Great for Skincare.
Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it from sun damage. The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. The flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.
7. A Brilliant Brain Food.
The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of your brain by increasing blood flow. Cocoa may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, it may also significantly improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairments. Additionally, cocoa contains stimulatory substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why it can improve brain function in the short term.
8. Chocolate Motivates The Metabolism.
There are multiple studies showing that the regular consumption of cacao may improve metabolic health. In fact, one of the primary studied benefits in this regard is the effect that cacao has on improving insulin resistance and downregulating inflammation caused by obesity
Make the most of your Chocolate Indulgence;
Quality Matters – Chocolate comes in all kinds of processed forms. To derive maximum benefits, you want to look for a raw cacao powder or 85-100% cacao bar that contains no sugars or at the very least buy only organic dark chocolate containing at least 70% Cacoa. This is important because highly processed chocolates will not give the same benefits.
There are also great snack chocolates like these chocolate Truffle Bites that could be just the mood-boosting snack that will make you smile and keep you going.
There is a very subtle spelling change that fools a lot of consumers. When looking for chocolate products, you want to see raw cacao (not cocoa) on the ingredients label. This tells you that the chocolate is in its most unprocessed form.
Dark chocolates typically contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
Enjoy making your own eater treats this year by melting down dark chocolate and creating your own bars, have fun with different moulds, and add nuts, seeds, dried fruits, herbs, edible flowers and spices.