There is plenty of healthy food in this world. Ingredients considered as magical, which can do wonders to your body and bring it back to a healthy and strong state. If we told you dark chocolate is one of them, you might not believe us. But with the richest nutrients and with many amazing benefits, it’s almost hard to believe more people aren’t eating it on a daily basis. If you, like us, are a chocolate lover and want to find out exactly what this dark treasure has to offer, keep reading to find out the benefits of chocolate!
1. Energy Booster
You might not know this, but chocolate is one of the most powerful energy boosters around, and it’s 100% natural. In spite of what most people might think, it’s not the sugar in the chocolate which wakes up people, it’s the Theobromine. This component is very similar to caffeine (the one we find in coffee, of course) but it has none of the side effects of caffeine such as dehydration and increase of stress levels after the effects have worn off. In fact, Theobromine is a very gentle component found in the darkest types of chocolate, so the less sugar you eat in your chocolate, the better you’ll feel the boost without getting headaches or a sugar rush.
2. Burn Calories
No, you’re not reading wrong. Chocolate could help your body and metabolism burn calories easily, if you know how to eat it properly. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate (remember, all in moderation) can significantly reduce or slow down your digestive process so you’ll feel full for longer periods of time throughout the day. Also, dark chocolate can increase your serotonin and endorphin levels rapidly, decreasing those feared “stress-eating” episodes you get specially in the afternoon or late at night. Lastly, chocolate has the ability to boost metabolism to burn calories and fat. Imagine having a bite of the most delicious food in the world AND losing weight at the same time.
Related: 8 Best Chocolate Life Hacks and Ideas
3. Improve Your Studying Skills
But chocolate can also do wonders for your brain, so pay attention college students! Several studies from prestigious universities have found that ingesting dark chocolate, or cocoa, before, or while studying for an exam, can improve significantly your retention memory, thus you’ll perform better on your test. Why does this happen? The cocoa plant is filled with flavanols, a very powerful and, might we add, natural antioxidant chemical compound that stimulates brain activity and helps it perform much better. Just a small dose each day can improve organization, memory and attention. So, keep a block of dark chocolate near your desk when finals come!
4. Take Care of Your Mouth
The benefits of chocolate (especially the dark ones) to our bodies are almost comparable with its delicious taste. This brown treasure is packed with tannins, a component that can prevent cavities in your mouth by fighting off bacteria that could stick to your teeth. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols, which neutralize the effects of harmful bacteria and microorganisms that cause oral diseases such as gum infections, bad breath and ultimate tooth decay. Lastly, the flavonoids in chocolate (the powerful antioxidant we mentioned earlier) can significantly slow down tooth decay. Keep this information at hand just in case someone tells you chocolate will rot your teeth!
5. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Once again, chocolate comes to the rescue. Several studies from prestigious universities have concluded that people who eat small amounts of dark chocolate occasionally present lower rates of heart disease in extended periods of time. Why could this be? We’ve mentioned many times the many benefits of chocolate flavonoids. Asides from the hacks mentioned before, they can also help lower blood pressure, improve the blood flow that goes to the brain and heart, and prevent blood clots in the main arteries, which is the ultimate cause of heart disease. As you might know, bad cholesterol can clog veins and arteries, but dark chocolate can drop bad cholesterol levels significantly. See? Chocolate is literally food for your heart!
6. Reduce Depression and Improve Your Mood
There’s a reason why people tend to turn to a big box of chocolates when they’re feeling kind of blue. You might think it’s only because of how amazing they taste and how good of a comfort food they are, but there might be something else there. Dark chocolate contains high levels of N-acylethanolamines, which is an endogenous cannabinoid with important anxiolytic and euphoric effects. It is said that this component can help boost natural serotonin levels in the body, making people “happy” when they consume it.
7. Protects Skin from the Sun
Recent studies found that people who eat dark chocolate on a regular basis where showing skin twice as protected from UV lights. This got them to thinking that there’s a strong relation between cacao consumption and a skin care secret that can fight harmful lights naturally. The flavanols in dark chocolate can improve skin microcirculation, providing oxygen to the outermost layer of your skin and making it strengthen its natural barriers. Other theories suggest the polyphenols in dark chocolate can suppress the effects of photoaging and UV- induced radiations. Who would’ve thought your perfect skin care routine is in your fridge?
8. Receive Important Nutrients
There are foods that bring literally no nutritional added value to your body, which is a shame because they taste SO good. Lucky for you, this is not the case with dark chocolate, this bad boy is considered healthy food because it’s filled with nutrients that can bring balance to your organism and its components. Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc; as well as the richest type of antioxidants called flavonoids. Sure, dark chocolate might not be in your “daily” recommendation in any diet, but its nutrients will definitely help your body more than harm it.
There you have it! Chocolate can do wonders for your body from the smallest parts of it -like declutter your arteries and lower your blood pressure – to the biggest ones – like make your skin naturally protected from UV lights. Dark chocolate has the power to give you a shiny grin as well as keep your mind at peace. What are you waiting for? Open your box of dark chocolates and get your daily dose of healthy food!