If you’re a chocolate fan (I mean, who isn’t?) then swapping your usual fix for the dark version would be one of the better things you do for your health so here we list Top 5 Benefits of Dark Chocolate! Dark chocolate is pretty underrated. They do contain however a heap of health benefits that the milk and white varieties don’t have because they simply don’t have enough cocoa solids and are made with too much processed sugar.
1. Helps fight disease
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids which help to fight the free radicals in the body that cause illness and ageing. Yes you read that right, chocolate can stave off illness! But this is only the case with chocolate made with over 70% cocoa solids. So unfortunately you can’t scoff a “Dairy Milk Oreo” bar and expect it to help you as, with all milk chocolate, it will do the opposite and make you ill. As long as you stick to two squares of dark chocolate a day as part of a healthy balanced diet, you’ll feel your best!
2. Contains magnesium
Magnesium helps keep your bones healthy whilst also delivering vital vitamins around the body where they’re needed. It’s known to help prevent osteoporosis due to its role in keeping bones strong and can regulate high blood pressure. It turns the food we eat into energy so it plays a vital role in our lives! The daily recommended amount of magnesium is 300mg a day for men and 270mg a day for women which is not all obtained from food (or dark chocolate) alone but it helps you on your way.
3. High levels of iron
This essential mineral carries oxygen around your body and a lack of iron can lead to the deficiency, anaemia. Iron gives us energy so a lack of iron naturally leads to fatigue and therefore isn’t great for our overall wellbeing. The daily recommended intake of iron is 8.7mg a day for men and 14.8mg a day for women. On average dark chocolate has 8mg of iron per 100g, so although you shouldn’t eat 100g in one go, this gives you an idea of how valuable dark chocolate is for those extra nutrients.
4. Curbs cravings
I find this to be true for myself which is why I want to recommend this to you. If you’re trying to cut down on sugar having two squares of dark chocolate a day will keep you satisfied and stop you searching the cupboards for cookies. Because it’s much richer than milk chocolate, even having a small piece satisfies sugar cravings, you can even add it on top of porridge or pancakes to spice up your breakfast!
5. Lowers blood pressure
There’s some evidence that it can lower blood pressure which is great for the old ticker! It means you have less chance of developing heart problems or having heart attacks. The best chance you have of lowering your blood pressure is by eating a portion of dark chocolate a day alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Although dark chocolate has these amazing health benefits don’t forget it is still made with sugar and fat. As long as you eat it in moderation you will get these five benefits and more. Always choose one with 70% cocoa or more, the higher the better, and you’ll be well on your way to deriving the maximum goodness available to you!