how is dark chocolate good for you

1. Dark Chocolate Can Help Prevent Depression · 2. Dark Chocolate Can Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease · 3. Dark Chocolate Can Aid Against. Dark chocolate is the right choice if you're interested in the health benefits, as it contains 2–3 times more flavonol-rich cocoa solids compared to milk. Dark chocolate is arguably one of the best feel-good snacks for healthy eaters. There is a growing body of research showing health benefits such.
how is dark chocolate good for you

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Food Fact or Fiction: Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?

The health benefits of dark chocolate are widely known—especially its effect on your heart. But new research is finding that chocolate may help boost your performance. Here's what you need to know before breaking off a square (or two).

Go Dark For Your Heart
Studies have found that a daily square of dark chocolate can improve your heart health thanks to its flavanols, which serve as antioxidants. One study from 2010 showed that a small dose of dark chocolate could decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. 

But it matters what type of dark chocolate you nibble on. For the heart health benefits, reach for at least 70 percent cacao, which is fairly bitter without the added fat and sugar. And don’t forget that even though dark chocolate is considered a (somewhat) healthy treat, it still packs plenty of calories. A 100-gram bar of 85 percent dark chocolate, for example, clocks in around 600 calories, 450 of which come from fat. 

Minimal Processing, Better Performance
New research is finding that chocolate—even at lower percentages of cacao than is normally recommended—may have a performance-boosting effect. 

Recent U.K. research shows that epicatechin, an antioxidant found in the cacao (cocoa) bean, may have slight performance benefits.

The study, while small, showed that cyclists who consumed 40 grams of dark chocolate (Dove, in this case) a day displayed slight improvements in distance compared to their performance after consuming white chocolate. 

White chocolate is highly processed, which means it’s lost most, if not all, of its epicatechin. 

“The more chocolate is processed the more antioxidant flavonols, including epicatechin, are lost,” said Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.

Dove dark synchrony ashley furniture pay bill has high levels of epicatechin, study co-author Rishikesh Patel told Runner’s World by email. And a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found it to improve blood flow in arteries.

But Dove dark chocolate is relatively low in cacao—only 53 oan one america news. Which poses the question, does cacao percentage matter when it comes to performance? Patel and colleagues are currently analyzing different levels of flavanols in chocolate to measure their effectiveness on exercise. But the results won't be out until next year. 

The Takeaway
The more processed the chocolate, the less of the good stuff (heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin) there is. So while Patel’s study found you may be able to to get a small performance benefit from the sweeter-tasting Dove dark chocolate, it’s more processed than other options that may be better for your heart, like cacao nibs. Nibs, available online and at gourmet grocery stores, are very close to the original, unprocessed bean, with a texture not unlike a coffee bean. 

“A higher cacao percentage will taste more bitter, so it really just depends on your taste preferences,” Ryan said. 

But whatever you do, choose dark over milk chocolate, which has more added sugar and fat.

And while the participants of Patel’s study ate an entire 40-gram chocolate bar daily (1.4 ounces), Ryan suggests a smaller amount to keep your waistline in check. 

“I would keep it to half an ounce or one ounce per serving—just from a calorie perspective,” she said. 

Dove's 40.8-gram dark chocolate bar is 220 calories and 13 grams fat.

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Источник: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20795668/how-much-chocolate-do-you-need-to-eat-for-health-benefits/

15 Reasons Why Eating Chocolate is Actually Good For You, According to Health Experts

Believe it or not, we were able to get hold of 15 damn good reasons why you can eat all the chocolate you want, WITHOUT fretting. From attempting to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease to convincing your mom that dark chocolate actually protects your teeth (oh yes it does), here are all the excuses you'll ever need.

But before we delve into the several benefits of chocolate consumption, you must know that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavonoids and good health benefits.

There are mainly 3 types of chocolate:

Milk chocolate: It contains anywhere between 20-25% cocoa solids along with cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder, and lecithin (a type of fat). It tastes comparatively sweeter, with a bitter note of cocoa.

White chocolate: It contains no cocoa solids; is entirely made of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter.

Dark chocolate: It contains the most amount of cocoa (up to 80% of its weight) along with cocoa butter. It tastes a bit bitter and has a strong aroma of cocoa.

'The above observations suggest that dark chocolate is the best for your brain and health. It contains nutrients including flavanols, tryptophan, and is low in sugar content and calories. On the other hand, milk and white chocolate contain lesser amounts of cocoa and are high in sugar, leading how is dark chocolate good for you weight gain and obesity. However, you don’t have to renounce chocolates just yet-- at least not till the time dark chocolates exist,' states Akanksha Mishra, M.sc Food and Nutrition & Certified Diabetes Educator, myUpchar.

Not one, not five, here are 15 good-as-hell reasons to go guilt-free!

1. IT IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION & BLOOD PRESSURE

Were you aware that chocolate is good for your heart and blood since it may improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure? Well, now you know. 'Chocolates contain chemical compounds called flavanols which stimulate the lining of your arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide. This gas sends signals to the blood vessels to relax, which in turn lowers resistance to blood flow and helps reduce the possibility of blood clot formations,' informs Dr Rashmi Gupta, Dentist at Practo.

2. A GREAT MOOD ENHANCER

While just the thought of chocolate brings a wide grin to your face, science provides an explanation to why it actually uplifts your mood. 'Dark chocolate boosts the serotonin level (the feel-good hormone) in the body as the carbohydrates present in the form of sugar signal the body to produce more serotonin. Serotonin overlooks a number of functions in the body such as influencing your mood, helping move food through your intestines, and constricting blood vessels,' says Dr Akanksha. 'I recommend a dose of 1-2 blocks of dark chocolate when you feel low,' she adds.

3. IT'S GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

A study suggests that chocolate consumption promotes brain function too. 'While chocolate’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain can in itself make for better brain function, a research found that flavonoid in chocolate prevents the death of brain cells, thus reducing the risk of developing health ailments such as dementia and alzheimer’s disease,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432604/ )

4.IT PREVENTS AGAINST CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

'While adopting a healthy lifestyle; avoiding junk food, eating a high-fiber diet, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco, and exercising regularly can significantly decrease the risk of developing CVD, chocolates may also play a role in keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. A study on humans has drawn a correlation between cardiovascular health and chocolate consumption. The secret nutrient in chocolate is flavonoids, a type of healthy heart antioxidant that reduces free radicals and increases the blood flow in the body,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797556/#:~:text=High%20cocoa%20and%20chocolate%20consumption,and%20overall%20cardiovascular%20mortality8. )

5.IT MAKES YOU MORE ALERT

'The caffeine in chocolate acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. Studies have shown that depending on the level of intake, caffeine can help improve mental performance, especially the dimensions of alertness, attention, and concentration. For example, it helps in situations such as driving at night, or night-time studying, or working during the post-lunch dip in office,' claims Dr Akanksha.

6. ARICH SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

'Flavonoid, which is how is dark chocolate good for you in chocolates, is a type of antioxidant which helps your body function more efficiently while shielding it against everyday toxins and stressors. Besides antioxidant activity, this essential element in chocolate works well as an anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic factor. Flavanols, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins are antioxidants present in dark chocolate that help slow the growth of cancer cells,' says Dr Akanksha.

7. IT HAS ANTI-AGEING PROPERTIES

The antioxidants in dark chocolate fight toxin and free radicals in your body that cause damage to skin cells. Not only do these antioxidants slow down the ageing process, but they also eliminate certain cancerous cells,' says Dr Rashmi.

8.PROTECTION FOR YOUR TEETH

This one's for all the kids who've been chased by their mothers to brush. Dr Rashi informs us that dark chocolates contain theobromin which eliminate bacteria and harden tooth enamel. If you practice good dental hygiene, dark chocolates can actually lower your risk of getting cavities! Go tell your mom and put an end to the drama, once and for all.

9.IT CAN TREAT COUGHS

Theobromine, a mild stimulant also does wonders when it comes to suppressing coughs. 'These chemical compounds block sensory nerves from the activity, and consequently stop the cough reflex,' says Dr Rashmi. Now you know you need to gravitate towards chocolate rather than cough syrup.

10.IT ACTS AS A STRESS RELIEVER

'Researchers have been able to trace a direct correlation between those who eat dark chocolate regularly with lower levels of the stress hormone circulating in the blood,' informs Dr Rashi. However, one must keep in mind that anything in excess is harmful to human health. Consuming dark chocolate in regulated quantities is advisable.

11.IT IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH

Dr Rashi states that the woodforest atm near me present in dark chocolate increase your skin density and hydration and improve blood flow to the skin.

12.IT CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

'Researchers have found that eating dark chocolates regularly lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often referred to as the 'bad' cholesterol. The powerful antioxidants present in dark chocolate serve to protect against oxidative damage,' states Dr Rashmi.

13. A RICH SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS

Yes, you heard that right. 'Dark chocolate is enriched with an array vitamins and minerals that are vital for our body's functioning. It has a high concentration of magnesium, iron, potassium, and copper. While magnesium helps prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other heart diseases, iron protects against anemia,' claims Dr Rashmi.

14.IT'S GOOD FOR INSULIN RESISTANCE

'Contrary how is dark chocolate good for you popular belief, dark chocolate is a good option for those with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. This translates to the fact that spirit airlines phone number usa eating it your sugar levels won't rise. Heritage south credit union hours chocolates re-train your body to use the insulin effectively,' she adds.

15. WELL BECAUSE IT'S CHOCOLATE, DUH

Enough said. I think we've managed to convince you.

Источник: http://www.bridestoday.in/weddings-and-planning/story/15-reasons-why-eating-chocolate-is-actually-good-for-you-according-to-health-experts-1819

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

While you probably don’t need us to give you a reason to eat dark chocolate every day, you may be surprised by all the scientifically-backed health benefits it boasts! Here are five claims that validate your dark chocolate addiction…

  • Boosts your mood - Yep, chocolate really does make you happy! Dark chocolate contains a small amount of an amino acid called tryptophan, which the brain uses to make serotonin – this is known as the “happy chemical” as it causes a feeling of wellbeing.
  • Lowers insulin resistance - A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating a small amount of dark chocolate (up to 100g a day) with high levels of cocoa led to reduced insulin resistance, which in turn could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Good for the heart - A study facebook login in mobile phone m 4970 participants in Boston showed that eating dark chocolate at least five times a week reduces both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%, due to the flavonoids (beneficial phytonutrients) found in cocoa.
  • High in antioxidants - Dark chocolate is packed with a wide range of powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. If you’re wondering what these are, they help protect cells from being damaged and get rid of harmful free radicals in the body.
  • Reduces stress hormones - Would you believe that dark chocolate can even help to alleviate stress? Studies have found that it reduces the body’s levels of cortisol (the natural stress hormone), as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines. No wonder we crave chocolate when we’re stressed!

However, don’t forget that even though chocolate can be highly nutritious, like everything in life its best consumed in moderation!

Why is “high cocoa” good for farmers and for the environment?

It is good news for farmers if chocolate lovers are increasingly exploring and enjoying higher cocoa chocolates. Walmart money card number simple reason is that the more cocoa in the chocolate, the more cocoa we need to buy – and that means more income for farmers. There was a time when nearly all the chocolate on sale had a high milk and sugar content with sometimes as little as 20% cocoa solids, so you can imagine that a trend towards 70% cocoa and higher could make a big difference.

The Divine model not only delivers Fairtrade premium on top of the cost of the cocoa, but also the biggest share of profits to the farmers’ coop in Ghana that owns the company. The coop in Ghana, and also the cocoa farmers in Sao Tome and Sierra Leone, and the sugar farmers in Malawi Divine also buys from also benefit from a share in our PS&D (Producer Support and Development Fund – 2% of our annual turnover) invested in their priority farmer projects, including for the last 20 years, working to empower women farmers. In addition, the Sao Tome farmers are not only receiving the Fairtrade premium, but the organic premium too – so even more income for their cocoa.

The more farmers receive, the more investment they can put into learning adaptive farming methods, including diversifying into additional crops (which improves soil, brings in additional income, and provides food for families), as well as education, and all the most important community improvements.

Fairtrade premium is used by farmers to sink wells for drinking water, send their children to school, and improve local schools, improving sanitation, and paying for healthcare, as well as paying for vital equipment, for example corn mills, to run their own businesses.

Divine’s PS&D is currently directly supporting farming training and a gender equality programme in Sao Tome, and an innovative Forest Friendly programme in Sierra Leone, which enables farmers to improve their cocoa crop without cutting down trees to grow more, but by living in harmony with the rainforest and its wildlife.

In summary, dark chocolate is better for you, farmers and the environment, milk chocolate is higher in sugar and milk fat.

Written by

Eli Brecher & Charlotte Borger

https://elibrecher.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/elibrechernutrition/

https://twitter.com/elibrecher

References:

Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. British Journal of Nutrition. 2016. 17:1-8.

Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Clinical Nutrition Journal. 2011.30(2):182-7.

Источник: https://www.divinechocolate.com/divine-world/why-dark-chocolate-is-good-for-you-the-farmers-and-the-environment/

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate — Yes, Chocolate Can Be Good for You

Whenever an article floats around the Internet touting research that a “junk” food — whether it’s bacon or cheese or wine — is actually healthy, people go wild with excitement, regardless of the source or details. Unfortunately, those articles tend montgomery county ohio food bank be based on studies that do not include enough unbiased scientific evidence. But, since chocolate comes from a plant, you may be wondering if the rumored health benefits to one of nature’s yummiest desserts are actually true. Does dark chocolate actually have any health benefits?

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Does Dark Chocolate Have Health Benefits?

Good news for chocoholics! There are a slew of health benefits and nutrients you can get from eating dark chocolate — bearing in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa the chocolate contains, the more nutrients you will get. That said, you should know that eating a bar of chocolate is never the most efficient way to nourish your body, since chocolate bars are usually filled with sugar and fat — which are also what helps make them so yummy.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

For one thing, most dark chocolate bars do not include any animal products (though some do include milk fat, so always make sure to check ingredients). In those instances, eating dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate will make your treat a bit less unhealthy, since the dairy added to milk chocolate bars contains cholesterol, as well as mammalian hormones. So if you have high cholesterol, are looking to reduce your consumption of dairy, are walmart money card number a vegan lifestyle, or want a slightly healthier chocolate bar, always opt for dark chocolate.

Interestingly, dark chocolate contains a few key nutrients for our bodies. For example, a 100-gram bar of Lindt’s 85 percent cocoa extra chocolate contains about 15 grams of fiber, 12.5 grams of protein, and 62.5 percent of your daily value of iron — those are pretty significant amounts. Healthline noted that dark chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. 

That said, eating an entire bar of extra dark chocolate is not the most direct way to up your intake of fiber, protein, and iron — that’s because the Lindt chocolate bar also contains 27.5 grams of saturated fat (thanks to cocoa butter and oil) and 12.5 grams of sugar (thanks to added sugar). If you need to increase your intake of those nutrients, more efficient sources are whole foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. 

Dark chocolate can also be a significant source of antioxidants, meaning it can protect your nervous system and can also shield nerve cells from damage, according to Food Matters. In fact, dark chocolate often makes internet lists of foods that are high in antioxidants, along with berries and dark leafy greens.

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?

dark chocolate benefits

Source: istock

Basically, while dark chocolate does include significant amounts of some nutrients, it is not a health food. But if you want an excuse to add as much chocolatey goodness to your diet as possible (and we don’t blame you), consider starting a romance with cocoa or cacao powder.

Healthiest Dark Chocolate — Cocoa and Cacao Powder

According to NutritionFacts.org, the best way to get dark chocolate’s benefits is by using cocoa powder or cacao powder. As explained by Food Matters, cacao powder comes from cold-pressed, raw cacao beans, with most of the cacao butter (fat) removed from the final product; while cocoa powder is roasted cacao and naturally a bit higher in fact. For example, one serving (2.5 tablespoons) of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder naturally contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fat. 

There are so many meals and drinks you can easily add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to — not only will it increase the meal’s nutrition, but more importantly, it will also make it taste like chocolate! For example, you can easily add a spoonful of cocoa powder to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, coffee, or non-dairy milk (for instant chocolate milk or hot cocoa!). In case you’ve never used cocoa powder before, it tastes similar to dark chocolate but less sweet, so depending on what you’re adding cocoa powder to, you may want to sweeten things up with some maple syrup, agave, sugar, or fruit. 

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol?

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and subsequently your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to Food Matters.

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free, which most dark chocolate bars are) is free of cholesterol, meaning it will not contribute to raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is what causes arteries to clog. Once again, the “darker” the chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage), the less "unhealthy" sugar and fat the bar will contain, and the healthier it will be. 

A 2017 cadence bank west point ms published by the Journal of the American Heart Association studied the effects of eating almonds combined how is dark chocolate good for you dark chocolate in a group of overweight adults over the course of four years. The study concluded that incorporating a combination of almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into the standard American diet “may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Healthy Dark Chocolate Recipes

It can be beneficial to make your own dark chocolate bars from scratch — that way, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming. Check out this five-ingredient recipe for chocolate bars from the Sweet Simple Vegan blog.

Additionally, the Minimalist Baker blog has a roundup of seven of its best recipes that use dark chocolate as a star ingredient. Are you drooling yet?

Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate

When shopping for dark chocolate, try your best to find fair-trade chocolate that is also palm oil-free, since many cocoa farms exploit and enslave workers — some farms even exploit child laborers. To combat that, the Food Empowerment Project has a how is dark chocolate good for you running list of many chocolate brands with fair-trade policies that the organization recommends. Additionally, any brand that is Fair Trade Certified will say so on the package, so look out for the little green logo when chocolate shopping.

Источник: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/dark-chocolate-health-benefits

How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat to Live Longer?

If you love dark chocolate, you’re probably well aware of research that suggests it has important health benefits, mostly through improving heart health. It's a bonus to justify your chocolate addiction in the name of longevity. Learn what the experts say and what daily dose of chocolate is the most healthy.

The Flavanol Factor

The greatest benefit from chocolate comes with the highest concentration of cocoa, which contains flavanols, a form of flavonoid. Flavanols act as antioxidants, mopping up damaging free radicals that are produced during cell metabolism. They can also reduce resistance to insulin and real estate listing fee blood vessels more elastic, reducing blood pressure. Since flavanols can be destroyed through processing, some researchers recommend eating less-processed chocolate and have advocated labeling cocoa products indicating flavanol levels.

How Much Chocolate to Lengthen Life

Eating chocolate may have advantages, but it brings up the question of how much is beneficial and what the limit is before overindulgence cancels the positive effects. Suggestions for a concrete number of grams or ounces are hard to come by. A study of nearly 20,000 people, followed over a period of eight years, concluded that those who ate an average of 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of chocolate per day had a 39 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. That’s a very small amount of chocolate, perhaps only half a single square of a typical 100-gram dark chocolate bar. Interestingly, this study included both dark and milk chocolate.

How Often Should You Eat Chocolate

Other studies have looked primarily at how often you eat chocolate, rather than the amount you consume. A 2011 research review involving a total of about 114,000 subjects in Europe, Asia, and North America, found a 37 percent lower risk in developing cardiovascular disease, a 31 percent reduction in risk of diabetes, and 29 percent reduction in risk of stroke, among subjects who ate chocolate the most often (more than twice a week). This review, from the University of Cambridge, included chocolate from all sources, including chocolate bars, drinks, and snacks, and did not distinguish between dark or milk chocolate.​​

Not Too Much, Not Too Often Is Just Right

Despite the beneficial effect of different sources of chocolate in their study, the Cambridge researchers warn against consuming too much of this energy-dense food. More recent studies have found no effect among those who eat chocolate and those who don't on both mental and physical quality of life markers.

It seems a little chocolate goes a long way in helping you to live longer. With some research saying it really doesn't matter, eat the amount of chocolate that works for you. Don't eat more calories than you can burn and don't replace other healthy plant-based foods with chocolate. Enjoy just enough to fill the how is dark chocolate good for you for something sweet and satisfying so that it doesn't interfere with your healthy eating habits.

Thanks for how is dark chocolate good for you feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Katz How is dark chocolate good for you, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011;15(10):2779–2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

  2. Miller KB, Hurst WJ, Payne MJ. Impact of Alkalization on the Antioxidant and Flavanol Content of Commercial Cocoa Powders. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008;56(18):8527-8533. doi:10.1021/jf801670p

  3. Petyaev IM, Bashmakov YK. Dark Chocolate: Opportunity for an Alliance between Medical Science and the Food Industry?. Front Nutr. 2017;4:43. Published 2017 Sep 26. doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00043

  4. Buijsse B, Weikert C, Drogan D, Bergmann M, Boeing H. Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in German adults. European Heart Journal. 2010;31(13):1616-1623. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehq068

  5. Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, Johnson L. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj. 2011;343(aug26 1):d4488-d4488. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4488

  6. Balboa-Castillo T, López-García E, León-Muñoz LM. Chocolate and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Prospective Study. Plos One. 2015;10(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123161

Additional Reading
  • Claims About Cocoa. US National Institutes of Health Information Sheet. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2011/08/claims-about-cocoa.

  • Buitrago-Lopez A, et al. Chocolate Consumption and Cardiometabolic Disorders. BMJ 2011;343:d4488.

Источник: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-much-dark-chocolate-should-i-eat-to-live-longer-2223572

How is dark chocolate good for you -

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

While you probably don’t need us to give you a reason to eat dark chocolate every day, you may be surprised by all the scientifically-backed health benefits it boasts! Here are five claims that validate your dark chocolate addiction…

  • Boosts your mood - Yep, chocolate really does make you happy! Dark chocolate contains a small amount of an amino acid called tryptophan, which the brain uses to make serotonin – this is known as the “happy chemical” as it causes a feeling of wellbeing.
  • Lowers insulin resistance - A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating a small amount of dark chocolate (up to 100g a day) with high levels of cocoa led to reduced insulin resistance, which in turn could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Good for the heart - A study of 4970 participants in Boston showed that eating dark chocolate at least five times a week reduces both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%, due to the flavonoids (beneficial phytonutrients) found in cocoa.
  • High in antioxidants - Dark chocolate is packed with a wide range of powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. If you’re wondering what these are, they help protect cells from being damaged and get rid of harmful free radicals in the body.
  • Reduces stress hormones - Would you believe that dark chocolate can even help to alleviate stress? Studies have found that it reduces the body’s levels of cortisol (the natural stress hormone), as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines. No wonder we crave chocolate when we’re stressed!

However, don’t forget that even though chocolate can be highly nutritious, like everything in life its best consumed in moderation!

Why is “high cocoa” good for farmers and for the environment?

It is good news for farmers if chocolate lovers are increasingly exploring and enjoying higher cocoa chocolates. The simple reason is that the more cocoa in the chocolate, the more cocoa we need to buy – and that means more income for farmers. There was a time when nearly all the chocolate on sale had a high milk and sugar content with sometimes as little as 20% cocoa solids, so you can imagine that a trend towards 70% cocoa and higher could make a big difference.

The Divine model not only delivers Fairtrade premium on top of the cost of the cocoa, but also the biggest share of profits to the farmers’ coop in Ghana that owns the company. The coop in Ghana, and also the cocoa farmers in Sao Tome and Sierra Leone, and the sugar farmers in Malawi Divine also buys from also benefit from a share in our PS&D (Producer Support and Development Fund – 2% of our annual turnover) invested in their priority farmer projects, including for the last 20 years, working to empower women farmers. In addition, the Sao Tome farmers are not only receiving the Fairtrade premium, but the organic premium too – so even more income for their cocoa.

The more farmers receive, the more investment they can put into learning adaptive farming methods, including diversifying into additional crops (which improves soil, brings in additional income, and provides food for families), as well as education, and all the most important community improvements.

Fairtrade premium is used by farmers to sink wells for drinking water, send their children to school, and improve local schools, improving sanitation, and paying for healthcare, as well as paying for vital equipment, for example corn mills, to run their own businesses.

Divine’s PS&D is currently directly supporting farming training and a gender equality programme in Sao Tome, and an innovative Forest Friendly programme in Sierra Leone, which enables farmers to improve their cocoa crop without cutting down trees to grow more, but by living in harmony with the rainforest and its wildlife.

In summary, dark chocolate is better for you, farmers and the environment, milk chocolate is higher in sugar and milk fat.

Written by

Eli Brecher & Charlotte Borger

https://elibrecher.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/elibrechernutrition/

https://twitter.com/elibrecher

References:

Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. British Journal of Nutrition. 2016. 17:1-8.

Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Clinical Nutrition Journal. 2011.30(2):182-7.

Источник: https://www.divinechocolate.com/divine-world/why-dark-chocolate-is-good-for-you-the-farmers-and-the-environment/

The health benefits of dark chocolate are widely known—especially its effect on your heart. But new research is finding that chocolate may help boost your performance. Here's what you need to know before breaking off a square (or two).

Go Dark For Your Heart
Studies have found that a daily square of dark chocolate can improve your heart health thanks to its flavanols, which serve as antioxidants. One study from 2010 showed that a small dose of dark chocolate could decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. 

But it matters what type of dark chocolate you nibble on. For the heart health benefits, reach for at least 70 percent cacao, which is fairly bitter without the added fat and sugar. And don’t forget that even though dark chocolate is considered a (somewhat) healthy treat, it still packs plenty of calories. A 100-gram bar of 85 percent dark chocolate, for example, clocks in around 600 calories, 450 of which come from fat. 

Minimal Processing, Better Performance
New research is finding that chocolate—even at lower percentages of cacao than is normally recommended—may have a performance-boosting effect. 

Recent U.K. research shows that epicatechin, an antioxidant found in the cacao (cocoa) bean, may have slight performance benefits.

The study, while small, showed that cyclists who consumed 40 grams of dark chocolate (Dove, in this case) a day displayed slight improvements in distance compared to their performance after consuming white chocolate. 

White chocolate is highly processed, which means it’s lost most, if not all, of its epicatechin. 

“The more chocolate is processed the more antioxidant flavonols, including epicatechin, are lost,” said Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.

Dove dark chocolate has high levels of epicatechin, study co-author Rishikesh Patel told Runner’s World by email. And a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found it to improve blood flow in arteries.

But Dove dark chocolate is relatively low in cacao—only 53 percent. Which poses the question, does cacao percentage matter when it comes to performance? Patel and colleagues are currently analyzing different levels of flavanols in chocolate to measure their effectiveness on exercise. But the results won't be out until next year. 

The Takeaway
The more processed the chocolate, the less of the good stuff (heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin) there is. So while Patel’s study found you may be able to to get a small performance benefit from the sweeter-tasting Dove dark chocolate, it’s more processed than other options that may be better for your heart, like cacao nibs. Nibs, available online and at gourmet grocery stores, are very close to the original, unprocessed bean, with a texture not unlike a coffee bean. 

“A higher cacao percentage will taste more bitter, so it really just depends on your taste preferences,” Ryan said. 

But whatever you do, choose dark over milk chocolate, which has more added sugar and fat.

And while the participants of Patel’s study ate an entire 40-gram chocolate bar daily (1.4 ounces), Ryan suggests a smaller amount to keep your waistline in check. 

“I would keep it to half an ounce or one ounce per serving—just from a calorie perspective,” she said. 

Dove's 40.8-gram dark chocolate bar is 220 calories and 13 grams fat.

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Источник: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20795668/how-much-chocolate-do-you-need-to-eat-for-health-benefits/

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate — Yes, Chocolate Can Be Good for You

Whenever an article floats around the Internet touting research that a “junk” food — whether it’s bacon or cheese or wine — is actually healthy, people go wild with excitement, regardless of the source or details. Unfortunately, those articles tend to be based on studies that do not include enough unbiased scientific evidence. But, since chocolate comes from a plant, you may be wondering if the rumored health benefits to one of nature’s yummiest desserts are actually true. Does dark chocolate actually have any health benefits?

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Does Dark Chocolate Have Health Benefits?

Good news for chocoholics! There are a slew of health benefits and nutrients you can get from eating dark chocolate — bearing in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa the chocolate contains, the more nutrients you will get. That said, you should know that eating a bar of chocolate is never the most efficient way to nourish your body, since chocolate bars are usually filled with sugar and fat — which are also what helps make them so yummy.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

For one thing, most dark chocolate bars do not include any animal products (though some do include milk fat, so always make sure to check ingredients). In those instances, eating dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate will make your treat a bit less unhealthy, since the dairy added to milk chocolate bars contains cholesterol, as well as mammalian hormones. So if you have high cholesterol, are looking to reduce your consumption of dairy, are considering a vegan lifestyle, or want a slightly healthier chocolate bar, always opt for dark chocolate.

Interestingly, dark chocolate contains a few key nutrients for our bodies. For example, a 100-gram bar of Lindt’s 85 percent cocoa extra chocolate contains about 15 grams of fiber, 12.5 grams of protein, and 62.5 percent of your daily value of iron — those are pretty significant amounts. Healthline noted that dark chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. 

That said, eating an entire bar of extra dark chocolate is not the most direct way to up your intake of fiber, protein, and iron — that’s because the Lindt chocolate bar also contains 27.5 grams of saturated fat (thanks to cocoa butter and oil) and 12.5 grams of sugar (thanks to added sugar). If you need to increase your intake of those nutrients, more efficient sources are whole foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. 

Dark chocolate can also be a significant source of antioxidants, meaning it can protect your nervous system and can also shield nerve cells from damage, according to Food Matters. In fact, dark chocolate often makes internet lists of foods that are high in antioxidants, along with berries and dark leafy greens.

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?

dark chocolate benefits

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Basically, while dark chocolate does include significant amounts of some nutrients, it is not a health food. But if you want an excuse to add as much chocolatey goodness to your diet as possible (and we don’t blame you), consider starting a romance with cocoa or cacao powder.

Healthiest Dark Chocolate — Cocoa and Cacao Powder

According to NutritionFacts.org, the best way to get dark chocolate’s benefits is by using cocoa powder or cacao powder. As explained by Food Matters, cacao powder comes from cold-pressed, raw cacao beans, with most of the cacao butter (fat) removed from the final product; while cocoa powder is roasted cacao and naturally a bit higher in fact. For example, one serving (2.5 tablespoons) of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder naturally contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fat. 

There are so many meals and drinks you can easily add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to — not only will it increase the meal’s nutrition, but more importantly, it will also make it taste like chocolate! For example, you can easily add a spoonful of cocoa powder to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, coffee, or non-dairy milk (for instant chocolate milk or hot cocoa!). In case you’ve never used cocoa powder before, it tastes similar to dark chocolate but less sweet, so depending on what you’re adding cocoa powder to, you may want to sweeten things up with some maple syrup, agave, sugar, or fruit. 

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol?

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and subsequently your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to Food Matters.

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free, which most dark chocolate bars are) is free of cholesterol, meaning it will not contribute to raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is what causes arteries to clog. Once again, the “darker” the chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage), the less "unhealthy" sugar and fat the bar will contain, and the healthier it will be. 

A 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association studied the effects of eating almonds combined with dark chocolate in a group of overweight adults over the course of four years. The study concluded that incorporating a combination of almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into the standard American diet “may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Healthy Dark Chocolate Recipes

It can be beneficial to make your own dark chocolate bars from scratch — that way, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming. Check out this five-ingredient recipe for chocolate bars from the Sweet Simple Vegan blog.

Additionally, the Minimalist Baker blog has a roundup of seven of its best recipes that use dark chocolate as a star ingredient. Are you drooling yet?

Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate

When shopping for dark chocolate, try your best to find fair-trade chocolate that is also palm oil-free, since many cocoa farms exploit and enslave workers — some farms even exploit child laborers. To combat that, the Food Empowerment Project has a detailed running list of many chocolate brands with fair-trade policies that the organization recommends. Additionally, any brand that is Fair Trade Certified will say so on the package, so look out for the little green logo when chocolate shopping.

Источник: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/dark-chocolate-health-benefits

15 Reasons Why Eating Chocolate is Actually Good For You, According to Health Experts

Believe it or not, we were able to get hold of 15 damn good reasons why you can eat all the chocolate you want, WITHOUT fretting. From attempting to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease to convincing your mom that dark chocolate actually protects your teeth (oh yes it does), here are all the excuses you'll ever need.

But before we delve into the several benefits of chocolate consumption, you must know that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavonoids and good health benefits.

There are mainly 3 types of chocolate:

Milk chocolate: It contains anywhere between 20-25% cocoa solids along with cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder, and lecithin (a type of fat). It tastes comparatively sweeter, with a bitter note of cocoa.

White chocolate: It contains no cocoa solids; is entirely made of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter.

Dark chocolate: It contains the most amount of cocoa (up to 80% of its weight) along with cocoa butter. It tastes a bit bitter and has a strong aroma of cocoa.

'The above observations suggest that dark chocolate is the best for your brain and health. It contains nutrients including flavanols, tryptophan, and is low in sugar content and calories. On the other hand, milk and white chocolate contain lesser amounts of cocoa and are high in sugar, leading to weight gain and obesity. However, you don’t have to renounce chocolates just yet-- at least not till the time dark chocolates exist,' states Akanksha Mishra, M.sc Food and Nutrition & Certified Diabetes Educator, myUpchar.

Not one, not five, here are 15 good-as-hell reasons to go guilt-free!

1. IT IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION & BLOOD PRESSURE

Were you aware that chocolate is good for your heart and blood since it may improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure? Well, now you know. 'Chocolates contain chemical compounds called flavanols which stimulate the lining of your arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide. This gas sends signals to the blood vessels to relax, which in turn lowers resistance to blood flow and helps reduce the possibility of blood clot formations,' informs Dr Rashmi Gupta, Dentist at Practo.

2. A GREAT MOOD ENHANCER

While just the thought of chocolate brings a wide grin to your face, science provides an explanation to why it actually uplifts your mood. 'Dark chocolate boosts the serotonin level (the feel-good hormone) in the body as the carbohydrates present in the form of sugar signal the body to produce more serotonin. Serotonin overlooks a number of functions in the body such as influencing your mood, helping move food through your intestines, and constricting blood vessels,' says Dr Akanksha. 'I recommend a dose of 1-2 blocks of dark chocolate when you feel low,' she adds.

3. IT'S GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

A study suggests that chocolate consumption promotes brain function too. 'While chocolate’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain can in itself make for better brain function, a research found that flavonoid in chocolate prevents the death of brain cells, thus reducing the risk of developing health ailments such as dementia and alzheimer’s disease,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432604/ )

4.IT PREVENTS AGAINST CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

'While adopting a healthy lifestyle; avoiding junk food, eating a high-fiber diet, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco, and exercising regularly can significantly decrease the risk of developing CVD, chocolates may also play a role in keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. A study on humans has drawn a correlation between cardiovascular health and chocolate consumption. The secret nutrient in chocolate is flavonoids, a type of healthy heart antioxidant that reduces free radicals and increases the blood flow in the body,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797556/#:~:text=High%20cocoa%20and%20chocolate%20consumption,and%20overall%20cardiovascular%20mortality8. )

5.IT MAKES YOU MORE ALERT

'The caffeine in chocolate acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. Studies have shown that depending on the level of intake, caffeine can help improve mental performance, especially the dimensions of alertness, attention, and concentration. For example, it helps in situations such as driving at night, or night-time studying, or working during the post-lunch dip in office,' claims Dr Akanksha.

6. ARICH SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

'Flavonoid, which is present in chocolates, is a type of antioxidant which helps your body function more efficiently while shielding it against everyday toxins and stressors. Besides antioxidant activity, this essential element in chocolate works well as an anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic factor. Flavanols, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins are antioxidants present in dark chocolate that help slow the growth of cancer cells,' says Dr Akanksha.

7. IT HAS ANTI-AGEING PROPERTIES

The antioxidants in dark chocolate fight toxin and free radicals in your body that cause damage to skin cells. Not only do these antioxidants slow down the ageing process, but they also eliminate certain cancerous cells,' says Dr Rashmi.

8.PROTECTION FOR YOUR TEETH

This one's for all the kids who've been chased by their mothers to brush. Dr Rashi informs us that dark chocolates contain theobromin which eliminate bacteria and harden tooth enamel. If you practice good dental hygiene, dark chocolates can actually lower your risk of getting cavities! Go tell your mom and put an end to the drama, once and for all.

9.IT CAN TREAT COUGHS

Theobromine, a mild stimulant also does wonders when it comes to suppressing coughs. 'These chemical compounds block sensory nerves from the activity, and consequently stop the cough reflex,' says Dr Rashmi. Now you know you need to gravitate towards chocolate rather than cough syrup.

10.IT ACTS AS A STRESS RELIEVER

'Researchers have been able to trace a direct correlation between those who eat dark chocolate regularly with lower levels of the stress hormone circulating in the blood,' informs Dr Rashi. However, one must keep in mind that anything in excess is harmful to human health. Consuming dark chocolate in regulated quantities is advisable.

11.IT IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH

Dr Rashi states that the flavonoids present in dark chocolate increase your skin density and hydration and improve blood flow to the skin.

12.IT CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

'Researchers have found that eating dark chocolates regularly lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often referred to as the 'bad' cholesterol. The powerful antioxidants present in dark chocolate serve to protect against oxidative damage,' states Dr Rashmi.

13. A RICH SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS

Yes, you heard that right. 'Dark chocolate is enriched with an array vitamins and minerals that are vital for our body's functioning. It has a high concentration of magnesium, iron, potassium, and copper. While magnesium helps prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other heart diseases, iron protects against anemia,' claims Dr Rashmi.

14.IT'S GOOD FOR INSULIN RESISTANCE

'Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is a good option for those with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. This translates to the fact that by eating it your sugar levels won't rise. Dark chocolates re-train your body to use the insulin effectively,' she adds.

15. WELL BECAUSE IT'S CHOCOLATE, DUH

Enough said. I think we've managed to convince you.

Источник: http://www.bridestoday.in/weddings-and-planning/story/15-reasons-why-eating-chocolate-is-actually-good-for-you-according-to-health-experts-1819

The Health Benefits and Risks of Dark Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? What if you could eat it every day for your health? Eating chocolate every day might sound too good to be true, but research shows that there are some excellent health gains associated with eating dark chocolate. There are, however, also some potential risks.

Before we look at the health benefits and risks of dark chocolate, let’s take a look at how dark chocolate is made.

From Bean to Bar

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans that grow on cacao trees, originally native to Central America and now grown in tropical climates throughout the world. A single cacao tree produces 20 to 30 cocoa pods per year, and each pod contains around 40 cocoa beans. It takes one year’s yield from a single tree to produce about five dark chocolate bars.

Cocoa pods mature on the vine and are hand-harvested, then cut open to dry. The cocoa beans, covered in a white pulp, are laid out in the sun to ferment, and the chocolate flavor starts to emerge. Different types of fermentation processes result in different flavors of chocolate. The dried beans are then cracked open, the shells are removed, and the remaining cocoa nibs are roasted.

The roasting process also affects the flavor of the cocoa nibs. Roasted nibs are ground into a liquid called cocoa liquor, which is free of alcohol and contains 50 to 60 percent cocoa butter. From there the cocoa liquor can be further refined into cocoa powder, or other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, nuts, fruits, or milk can be added to the cocoa liquor to make chocolate bars.

Dark chocolate contains 60 percent or more cocoa, and no milk. Milk chocolate only contains 5 to 7 percent cocoa, and white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa at all—just cocoa butter and milk. As with berries and leafy greens, the darker the color of the chocolate, the more antioxidant properties it contains and the better it is for you. Also, milk binds to the antioxidants eliminating their ability to fight free radicals, so eating milk chocolate or drinking milk with dark chocolate has few to no health benefits.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Chocolate has been used for its healing properties for more than 3,000 years, and dates back to the early Mayans. Now researchers are finding scientific evidence for those healing properties.

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, a powerful type of antioxidant that is also found in foods like berries, green and black tea, and red wine. These polyphenols help to defend the body’s cells against free radicals from environmental toxins and diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation. In fact, one study by Yale University Prevention Research Center indicated that chocolate contains more phenolic antioxidants than any other food.

It’s Good for the Circulatory System

Studies done at the University of Southern California, the Institute of Cardiology in Russia, and the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, showed that consumption of dark chocolate helps improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, lowers LDL blood cholesterol (bad cholesterol), increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), improves vascular function, and reduces the risk of stroke. According to a study of overweight men done at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, consuming dark chocolate daily for four weeks helped restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. This is significant because arterial rigidity and white blood cell adhesion are both factors in heart disease.

It’s Good for Brain Cognition and Your Mood

The same study mentioned above by Yale University Prevention Research Center showed that dark chocolate has significant positive effects on cognitive function in the brain. Results from a study done in the UK confirmed that eating dark chocolate provides an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions. A study done at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, revealed “significantly increased self-rated calmness and contentedness relative to placebo” in participants who consumed a dark-chocolate drink mix for 30 days.

It’s High in Minerals

Dark chocolate is a mineral powerhouse. One ounce of dark chocolate—recommended daily serving—contains the following daily recommended doses of minerals: copper (25 percent), calcium (2 percent), iron (19 percent), magnesium (16 percent), potassium (6 percent), and zinc (6 percent).

It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Phytochemicals in dark chocolate have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Just keep an eye on the sugar content, as sugar is an inflammatory food. To get the most anti-inflammatory benefits from chocolate, go for the high cocoa content and least amount of sugar.

It Improves Insulin Sensitivity

New research from Queen Margaret University in the U.K. shows that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin resistance by decreasing glucose levels in non-diabetic adults.

Health Risks of Eating Dark Chocolate

Although there are many great health benefits of eating dark chocolate, there are also some downsides.

It Contains Caffeine

Dark chocolate contains 35 milligrams of caffeine per ounce compared to 145 milligrams for an 8-ounce cup of black coffee. Consider that if you’re trying to watch your caffeine intake or not hinder your ability to fall asleep at night.

It Can Increase the Risk of Kidney Stones

Dark chocolate contains a component found in many plants and animals called oxalates, which can increase the risk of kidney stones. If you’re prone to getting kidney stones you may want to watch your dark chocolate consumption.

It Can Bring on Migraines

Dark chocolate has been implicated in some migraines. However, there are also people who are prone to migraines and don’t seem to be affected by dark chocolate, so the jury is still out. If you have a tendency to get migraines you may want to cut dark chocolate out of your diet to see if it helps.

Moderation Is Key

As with any sweet treat, moderation is key. Some dark chocolates contain more sugar and fat than others, although it’s typically a healthy fat from cocoa butter. Generally the higher the percentage of cocoa the less sugar it will contain, but this is not always the case. Read the labels to ensure just what your dark chocolate contains. And strive to not exceed 1 ounce per day.

Consult your healthcare practitioner if you’re concerned about caffeine, kidney stones, or migraines. For the best dark chocolate, shop at local chocolatiers, and buy organic and/or fair-trade whenever possible.

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.

Ready to take control of your health?Download the Chopra App for personalized well-being guidance you can access anywhere.

Источник: https://chopra.com/articles/the-health-benefits-and-risks-of-dark-chocolate

Why chocolate is so addicting — and how to tap into the health benefits

This sugar and milk combo affects the brain like a drug, in that it triggers changes in the dopamine system on a molecular level, Avena explains. “A cascade of neurochemical changes can occur,” she says. “Milk chocolate will simulate sweet taste receptors. You won't see that with dark chocolate as it's bitter and somewhat aversive. Sweet taste receptors alone stimulate a dopamine release, sending projections that say, ‘This is a pleasurable experience; Let's do it again.’”

Self-control can easily go out the window when facing a milk chocolate candy bar, because your brain is so pumped full of feel-good chemicals. Additionally, your brain is forming affirming associations with each and every bite, such that even if you do manage to have just a nibble, your brain will basically bookmark the experience as a wildly good one that you should have again, pronto.

“The next time you even look at say, a Hershey’s wrapper, your brain will know that’s the signal for that powerful pleasurable feeling,” says Avena. “This is why you don’t see food brands change their labeling. Our brains are wired to be wary of new foods.”

Fueling the vicious cycle is the possibility that the neurons that create dopamine can down-regulate, meaning “they just stop making as much dopamine,” Avena says. Again, chocolate in this respect acts just like a drug. The more you take over time, the more you need to get that high.

The same neurochemical avalanche, if you will, can be triggered by white chocolate, which Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., registered dietitian nutritionist and senior editor of health and wellness strategy at Remedy Review, says is “technically not chocolate, as it's devoid of cocoa solids and cocoa powder altogether.”

Want to reap the health benefits of chocolate? The darker, the better

There’s been a lot of buzz about the health perks of chocolate in recent years, but it’s crucial to note that the only kind of chocolate that touts notable benefits (beyond a trace of calcium in milk chocolate) is dark chocolate — and the darker the better. In fact, in its natural ‘plant-based’ form, chocolate touts great nutrients.

“The cacao used to make chocolate is chock full of a variety of plant bioactive compounds known as polyphenols, particularly flavonoids (especially flavanols), catechins, epicatechins and procyanidins,” says Ferira. “Cocoa powder delivers about 50 mg of polyphenols per gram. Dark chocolate contains significantly more of these beneficial polyphenols than milk and white chocolate varieties.”

5 ways that chocolate is good for your health

  • It has antioxidants. “Quercetin, a type of antioxidant, is present in chocolate in quite high concentrations,” says Emily Van Eck, MS, a registered dietitian nutritionist and intuitive eating counselor. “Antioxidants have many beneficial and disease preventing functions in the body due to their ability to scavenge free radicals.”
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties. “Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases,” says Van Eck.
  • It’s rich in heart- and lung-healthy elements. Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, “a phenolic compound [that] is a vasodilator, so it can relax arteries and lower blood pressure, potentially improving cardiovascular disease risk,” says Van Eck. “Chocolate also contains theophylline, which increases cardiac output, or how much blood the heart is pumping out. It also increases bronchial dilation, so it increases the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen.” Erika Fox, a registered dietitian nutritionist at 310 Nutrition, adds that research suggests that “flavanols have the power to improve blood flow and oxygen levels, ultimately improving blood pressure and having a positive effect on heart health.”
  • It could boost your cognition. “Flavonols have been shown to boost blood flow in the brain and may also be able to boost memory and improve cognitive performance,” says Dr. Brad Herskowitz, neurologist for the Miami Neuroscience Institute.
  • And boost your mood. “As many studies have shown, dark chocolate can improve mood,” says Van Eck. “It seems these effects are due both to the palatability, taste and texture of chocolate, as well as the psychoactive components. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which increases alertness.”

To tap into the benefits of chocolate and get the highest flavanol content, the type of chocolate is important. “To get the most benefit, look for dark chocolate with higher percentages of cacao,” says Fox. “[It] contains higher amounts of nutrients, especially compared to milk chocolates.”

Yes, dark chocolate has benefits, but it’s not exactly a miracle food

The consensus among the experts I consulted is that while dark chocolate has attractive qualities from a nutritional perspective, the jury is out on just how impactful these benefits really are in comparison to say, leafy greens. So, rather than deeming dark chocolate a miracle food to be consumed in abundance, it’s smarter to approach it as a potentially healthful treat that’s best enjoyed in moderation — after all, it’s still high in fat, calories and caffeine and contains sugar.

“While there is no clinical consensus on recommended consumption levels of dark chocolate, and every person's nutritional needs and health situation is unique, a dietitian-approved serving of dark chocolate is typically discussed as 1-2 ounces (1-2 squares) per day,” says Ferira.

Think dark chocolate is too bitter? You can train your brain to enjoy it

As I work on cleaning up my diet (milk chocolate owl splurge aside), I’m trying to swap out my normal processed sweets for high-percentage dark chocolate, but it hasn’t been easy. The bitterness turns me off. This is to be expected after a life of devouring milk chocolate.

Fortunately, there are some tricks we can implement to train our brain to appreciate dark chocolate. Here’s 5 expert-recommended tips:

  • Start with a low percentage cacao and work your way up. “Start with a lower percentage dark chocolate, like 50 percent [cacao],” says Ferira. “Don't go for 90 out the gate. Start low, go slow, and go up from there. I think this is the most practical approach.”
  • Eat more fruit. If you’re used to getting your sugar fix from ultra-processed sweets such as milk and white chocolate, your taste buds' sensitivity to less abrasive, more natural sweet flavors has likely been drastically dulled. Ferira recommends opting for fruit when you have a craving for something sugary in a move to “train your taste buds over time to recognize natural sources of sweetness versus things chock full of added sugars,” she says.
  • Get creative with pairings. What usually turns people off to dark chocolate is the bitterness. In addition to starting at a lower cacao percentage and working your way up, get creative with pairings. Pairing dark chocolate with something naturally sweet “like blueberries or raspberries or whatever fruits you like,” is another strategy Ferira recommends. In supermarkets, you’ll find tons of products that claim to already do this (chocolate-covered acai, for instance); this might be a good gateway option to dark chocolate, but don’t be fooled into thinking that these fruit plus dark chocolate combos are as good for you as pairing plain dark chocolate with real fruit. Often these packaged products touting cacao and fruit “can be amazingly dense in calories and/or sugars,” adds Ferira.
  • Increase exposure to dark chocolate while phasing out milk and white. “If you eat milk chocolate and then have dark chocolate, the dark will probably taste awful in comparison,” says Avena. “But over time, the less time you spend eating milk chocolate and the more you spend eating dark chocolate, the dark will naturally start to taste better because you're not making that comparison.”
  • Pay attention to how your body feels after eating dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. “We will always like unhealthy things because they overpower our neurochemical responses,” says Avena. “But if you can convince yourself you have benefits with healthier foods, over time they won’t be as aversive. When people say that they love Brussels sprouts, they’re usually [indicating] that they’ve become accustomed to the health benefits of Brussels sprouts and how they make them feel. It’s less of a direct relationship.”

More nutrition advice

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Источник: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/why-chocolate-so-addicting-how-tap-health-benefits-ncna1140351

How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat to Live Longer?

If you love dark chocolate, you’re probably well aware of research that suggests it has important health benefits, mostly through improving heart health. It's a bonus to justify your chocolate addiction in the name of longevity. Learn what the experts say and what daily dose of chocolate is the most healthy.

The Flavanol Factor

The greatest benefit from chocolate comes with the highest concentration of cocoa, which contains flavanols, a form of flavonoid. Flavanols act as antioxidants, mopping up damaging free radicals that are produced during cell metabolism. They can also reduce resistance to insulin and make blood vessels more elastic, reducing blood pressure. Since flavanols can be destroyed through processing, some researchers recommend eating less-processed chocolate and have advocated labeling cocoa products indicating flavanol levels.

How Much Chocolate to Lengthen Life

Eating chocolate may have advantages, but it brings up the question of how much is beneficial and what the limit is before overindulgence cancels the positive effects. Suggestions for a concrete number of grams or ounces are hard to come by. A study of nearly 20,000 people, followed over a period of eight years, concluded that those who ate an average of 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of chocolate per day had a 39 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. That’s a very small amount of chocolate, perhaps only half a single square of a typical 100-gram dark chocolate bar. Interestingly, this study included both dark and milk chocolate.

How Often Should You Eat Chocolate

Other studies have looked primarily at how often you eat chocolate, rather than the amount you consume. A 2011 research review involving a total of about 114,000 subjects in Europe, Asia, and North America, found a 37 percent lower risk in developing cardiovascular disease, a 31 percent reduction in risk of diabetes, and 29 percent reduction in risk of stroke, among subjects who ate chocolate the most often (more than twice a week). This review, from the University of Cambridge, included chocolate from all sources, including chocolate bars, drinks, and snacks, and did not distinguish between dark or milk chocolate.​​

Not Too Much, Not Too Often Is Just Right

Despite the beneficial effect of different sources of chocolate in their study, the Cambridge researchers warn against consuming too much of this energy-dense food. More recent studies have found no effect among those who eat chocolate and those who don't on both mental and physical quality of life markers.

It seems a little chocolate goes a long way in helping you to live longer. With some research saying it really doesn't matter, eat the amount of chocolate that works for you. Don't eat more calories than you can burn and don't replace other healthy plant-based foods with chocolate. Enjoy just enough to fill the need for something sweet and satisfying so that it doesn't interfere with your healthy eating habits.

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011;15(10):2779–2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

  2. Miller KB, Hurst WJ, Payne MJ. Impact of Alkalization on the Antioxidant and Flavanol Content of Commercial Cocoa Powders. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008;56(18):8527-8533. doi:10.1021/jf801670p

  3. Petyaev IM, Bashmakov YK. Dark Chocolate: Opportunity for an Alliance between Medical Science and the Food Industry?. Front Nutr. 2017;4:43. Published 2017 Sep 26. doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00043

  4. Buijsse B, Weikert C, Drogan D, Bergmann M, Boeing H. Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in German adults. European Heart Journal. 2010;31(13):1616-1623. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehq068

  5. Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, Johnson L. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj. 2011;343(aug26 1):d4488-d4488. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4488

  6. Balboa-Castillo T, López-García E, León-Muñoz LM. Chocolate and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Prospective Study. Plos One. 2015;10(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123161

Additional Reading
  • Claims About Cocoa. US National Institutes of Health Information Sheet. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2011/08/claims-about-cocoa.

  • Buitrago-Lopez A, et al. Chocolate Consumption and Cardiometabolic Disorders. BMJ 2011;343:d4488.

Источник: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-much-dark-chocolate-should-i-eat-to-live-longer-2223572
how is dark chocolate good for you

How is dark chocolate good for you -

As if the thought of savoring a square (or a whole bar) of dark chocolate wasn’t enticing enough, dark chocolate’s health claims are pretty appealing too. We’ve heard everything: It lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, improves cognitive function, protects your skin, and more. Check out what experts had to say about how healthy this treat actually is.

The health benefits of dark chocolate

There’s been lots of research on dark chocolate, but the hype has outpaced the science. Translation: Eating dark chocolate won’t instantly or directly accomplish any of the above. What is certain is that cocoa is rich in three types of flavonoids—phytochemicals in nearly all plant-based foods that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. This is important because chronic inflammation is linked to conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome, asthma, heart disease, and cancer.

“These compounds also benefit cardiovascular health by improving blood flow, reducing the risk of clotting, and improving blood pressure levels,” says Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Cocoa is also rich in iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium, all critical minerals needed for healthy blood, immunity, and cell growth.

How to choose the healthiest chocolate

  • Dig dark chocolate. Grab a bar with 70% cocoa or higher (more cocoa equals more flavonoids). If dark chocolate tastes too bitter for you, dark milk chocolate is a pretty sweet compromise—it has less sugar and more cocoa than traditional milk chocolate, which may have as little as 10%. If it says “milk chocolate” but has a cocoa percentage of 38% or higher, you’ll know it’s dark milk.
  • Read the ingredients. Chocolate, cocoa, or cacao should appear first in the ingredient list, meaning there’s more of it by weight. If sugar is firs on the list or you see unfamiliar ingredients, steer clear, says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.N., an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
  • Know your source. Dutch-processed cocoa tends to have a reduced flavonoid content because of how the chocolate is processed, while one recent study found that cocoa beans from Colombia had the highest flavonoid content, likely because of things like plant variety and geography.

What about serving size?

There’s no magic quantity of dark chocolate you need to eat to get those flavonoids; the dosage used in studies varies. But experts agree that you should treat it like you would any other piece of candy and consume it in moderation.

“It’s best reserved as a treat,” says Young. “Yes, it does contain antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, but let’s not call it a health food—it still contains plenty of sugar and fat.” In other words, aim for 1/4 of a full-size bar. With all of this in mind, here are the best healthy chocolate bar options to consider:

1Taza Sea Salt and Almond Organic 80% Dark Chocolate

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This indulgent dark chocolate bar is made with roasted almonds and 80% cacao. “If you can get 70% or more cocoa and get some almonds thrown in, I can’t argue with that,” says Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., a New York-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet. Taza chocolate is stone-ground, so it will have a slightly grainy texture, which some people prefer, instead of milky smooth.

Nutrition per serving:  210 cal, 4 g pro, 14 g carb, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 16 g fat (9 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 154 mg sodium

2

Best Value Chocolate Bar

Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate Bar

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Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, recommends trying Lindt’s 70% cocoa, which is a full-bodied chocolate bar that tastes balanced so it’s not too bitter. Bonus: This dark chocolate comes in a case, so you enjoy some now and have plenty left over for later (or to share!). Even better, they’re under $3 a pop!

Nutrition per serving:  190 cal, 2 g pro, 13 g carb, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars (9 g added sugars), 14 g fat (9 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 5 mg sodium

3Pascha 85% Dark Chocolate Bar, 10-Pack

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If you have food allergies, Pascha’s organic dark chocolate will give you peace of mind: It’s completely free of nuts, dairy, wheat, gluten, and most common allergens. Made with only four ingredients and 85% cacao, these sustainably sourced chocolate bars give you rich flavor without all of those unhealthy additives, earning a stamp of approval from Keatley.

Nutrition per serving: 160 cal, 3 g pro, 10 g carb, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars (4 g added sugars), 12 g fat (8 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

4Lily’s Sweets Extra Dark Chocolate Bar

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Looking for a chocolate bar that steers completely clear of sugar? This option from Lily’s uses stevia to sweeten its 70% cocoa formula, meaning there’s no added sugar at all. And did we mention that this bar is keto-friendly?

Nutrition per serving: 130 cal, 3 g pro, 15 g carb, 8 g fiber, 0 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 12 g fat (7 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium 

5Raaka Pink Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar, 3-Pack

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As if the packaging wasn’t enticing enough, this craft chocolate bar from Brooklyn is 71% cacao, so you can enjoy its delicious sea salt flavor while appreciating the healthy antioxidants. (These also come in other fun flavors, like ginger snap, green tea crunch, and bananas foster.)

Nutrition per serving: 133 cal, 2 g pro, 12 g carb, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugars (7 g added sugars), 9 g fat (5 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 73 mg sodium

6Hu Salty 70% Dark Chocolate Bar

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If you’re newly committed to a healthy diet but secretly worried about missing out on treats like chocolate, don’t fret. This 70% cacao vegan chocolate bar with French sea salt is a savory twist on the classic, minus unhealthy additives. Let the ingredients list speak for itself: organic cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa butter, and sea salt.

Nutrition per serving: 180 cal, 2 g pro, 13 g carb, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugars (8 g added sugars), 13 g fat (8 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 105 mg sodium

7Endangered Species 88% Dark Chocolate Bar

Endangered Speciesamazon.com

$35.88

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Give back to your body and the environment when you eat one of these healthy chocolate bars. The brand, Endangered Species, donates 10% of its annual net profits to conservation efforts for endangered wildlife. And at 88% cocoa, you can be sure that you’re receiving a hefty dose of antioxidants.

Nutrition per serving: 180 cal, 3 g pro, 11 g carb, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugars (3 g added sugars), 13 g fat (8 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

8JOJO’s Dark Chocolate Bars

JOJO's Chocolateamazon.com

$14.99

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Made with a blend of 70% dark chocolate, hemp plant-based protein, almonds, pistachios, and dried cranberries, this chocolate bar brings all the texture and flavor you love from a chocolate bar but slashes the sugar. It’s perfect for vegan, paleo, keto, and low-sugar diets.

Nutrition per serving: 180 cal, 5 g pro, 11 g carb, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugars (8 g added sugars), 13 g fat (6 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

9K’ul Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Bar, Wild Ginger & Cayenne

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These organic, hand-crafted chocolate bars have a rich, velvety texture with a unique flavor profile. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re contributing to the livelihood of the women’s cooperatives and cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic and Peru, who produce this company’s organic chocolate.

Nutrition per serving: 190 cal, 3 g pro, 21 g carb, 8 g fiber, 12 g sugars (11 g added sugars), 14 g fat (8 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

10Tony’s Chocolonely 70% Dark Chocolate Bar

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With six servings per bar, this seriously big sweet from Dutch chocolatier Tony’s Chocolonely should satisfy your cravings for weeks (or just days) to come. And unlike other brands, Tony’s works directly with farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, producing chocolate that’s certified slave-free.

Nutrition per serving: 170 cal, 2 g pro, 12 g carb, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugars (8 g added sugars), 13 g fat (8 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

11Lavender and Red Salt Chocolate

Antidote antidotechoco.com

$6.99

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It’s called Antidote for a reason. Instead of loading up on energy drinks, try this healthy, sustainably sourced chocolate. Containing 84% cacao, the chocolate bar is low-sugar and delivers an energizing boost to power you through the workday. It’s seasoned with alaea salt (a Hawaiian red salt) for a mellow, earthy flavor and lavender flowers for a hint of floral.

Nutrition per serving: 200 cal, 4 g pro, 12 g carb, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugars (5 g added sugars), 15 g fat (9 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

12Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Strong Dark Chocolate

Chocoloveamazon.com

$50.24

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For a dark chocolate bar with extra crunch, seek out Chocolove’s almonds and sea salt-studded option. It’s both ethically sourced and certified non-GMO, so you can feel good about indulging.

Nutrition per serving: 211 cal, 3 g pro, 19 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugars, 14 g fat (7 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 97 mg sodium

13Theo 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate Orange Bar

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Bitter dark chocolate pairs perfectly with the sweetness of fruit, especially with orange’s bright citrus flavor. Theo sources its fair-trade beans from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Peru. Plus, this bar is entirely vegan.

Nutrition per serving: 170 cal, 2 g pro, 14 g carb, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugars (9 g added sugars), 11 g fat (6 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium

14Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate Bar

Green & Black'samazon.com

$47.48

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Green and Black’s dark chocolate bars are 85% cacao and have a bold, savory flavor with a hint of organic vanilla. Plus, all of their chocolate is sourced through Cocoa Life, a third-party cocoa sustainability company that empowers local cocoa farmers around the world.

Nutrition per serving: 250 cal, 4 g pro, 15 g carb, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 20 g fat (12 g sat fat),  0 mg chol, 10 mg sodium

15Beyond Good 80% Dark Chocolate Bars, 3-Pack

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Just like coffee beans, cocoa beans can be single-origin, too. Beyond Good’s heirloom chocolate comes directly from Madagascar, supporting local farmers. On top of that, each bar is also vegan, organic, and non-GMO.

Nutrition per serving: 150 cal, 3 g pro, 10 g carb, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugars (5 g added sugars), 11 g fat (7 g sat fat), 0 mg chol, 10 mg sodium

Additional reporting by Alexis Jones, Korin Miller, and Jake Smith

Alyssa JungSenior EditorAlyssa is a senior editor for the Hearst Lifestyle Group Health Newsroom, supporting Prevention, Good Housekeeping, and Woman's Day.

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Источник: https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g25728973/healthy-chocolate-bars-snacks/

15 Reasons Why Eating Chocolate is Actually Good For You, According to Health Experts

Believe it or not, we were able to get hold of 15 damn good reasons why you can eat all the chocolate you want, WITHOUT fretting. From attempting to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease to convincing your mom that dark chocolate actually protects your teeth (oh yes it does), here are all the excuses you'll ever need.

But before we delve into the several benefits of chocolate consumption, you must know that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavonoids and good health benefits.

There are mainly 3 types of chocolate:

Milk chocolate: It contains anywhere between 20-25% cocoa solids along with cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder, and lecithin (a type of fat). It tastes comparatively sweeter, with a bitter note of cocoa.

White chocolate: It contains no cocoa solids; is entirely made of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter.

Dark chocolate: It contains the most amount of cocoa (up to 80% of its weight) along with cocoa butter. It tastes a bit bitter and has a strong aroma of cocoa.

'The above observations suggest that dark chocolate is the best for your brain and health. It contains nutrients including flavanols, tryptophan, and is low in sugar content and calories. On the other hand, milk and white chocolate contain lesser amounts of cocoa and are high in sugar, leading to weight gain and obesity. However, you don’t have to renounce chocolates just yet-- at least not till the time dark chocolates exist,' states Akanksha Mishra, M.sc Food and Nutrition & Certified Diabetes Educator, myUpchar.

Not one, not five, here are 15 good-as-hell reasons to go guilt-free!

1. IT IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION & BLOOD PRESSURE

Were you aware that chocolate is good for your heart and blood since it may improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure? Well, now you know. 'Chocolates contain chemical compounds called flavanols which stimulate the lining of your arteries to produce a gas called nitric oxide. This gas sends signals to the blood vessels to relax, which in turn lowers resistance to blood flow and helps reduce the possibility of blood clot formations,' informs Dr Rashmi Gupta, Dentist at Practo.

2. A GREAT MOOD ENHANCER

While just the thought of chocolate brings a wide grin to your face, science provides an explanation to why it actually uplifts your mood. 'Dark chocolate boosts the serotonin level (the feel-good hormone) in the body as the carbohydrates present in the form of sugar signal the body to produce more serotonin. Serotonin overlooks a number of functions in the body such as influencing your mood, helping move food through your intestines, and constricting blood vessels,' says Dr Akanksha. 'I recommend a dose of 1-2 blocks of dark chocolate when you feel low,' she adds.

3. IT'S GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

A study suggests that chocolate consumption promotes brain function too. 'While chocolate’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain can in itself make for better brain function, a research found that flavonoid in chocolate prevents the death of brain cells, thus reducing the risk of developing health ailments such as dementia and alzheimer’s disease,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432604/ )

4.IT PREVENTS AGAINST CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

'While adopting a healthy lifestyle; avoiding junk food, eating a high-fiber diet, avoiding cigarettes and tobacco, and exercising regularly can significantly decrease the risk of developing CVD, chocolates may also play a role in keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy. A study on humans has drawn a correlation between cardiovascular health and chocolate consumption. The secret nutrient in chocolate is flavonoids, a type of healthy heart antioxidant that reduces free radicals and increases the blood flow in the body,' adds Dr Akanksha. (Click on the link to view the study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797556/#:~:text=High%20cocoa%20and%20chocolate%20consumption,and%20overall%20cardiovascular%20mortality8. )

5.IT MAKES YOU MORE ALERT

'The caffeine in chocolate acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. Studies have shown that depending on the level of intake, caffeine can help improve mental performance, especially the dimensions of alertness, attention, and concentration. For example, it helps in situations such as driving at night, or night-time studying, or working during the post-lunch dip in office,' claims Dr Akanksha.

6. ARICH SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

'Flavonoid, which is present in chocolates, is a type of antioxidant which helps your body function more efficiently while shielding it against everyday toxins and stressors. Besides antioxidant activity, this essential element in chocolate works well as an anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic factor. Flavanols, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins are antioxidants present in dark chocolate that help slow the growth of cancer cells,' says Dr Akanksha.

7. IT HAS ANTI-AGEING PROPERTIES

The antioxidants in dark chocolate fight toxin and free radicals in your body that cause damage to skin cells. Not only do these antioxidants slow down the ageing process, but they also eliminate certain cancerous cells,' says Dr Rashmi.

8.PROTECTION FOR YOUR TEETH

This one's for all the kids who've been chased by their mothers to brush. Dr Rashi informs us that dark chocolates contain theobromin which eliminate bacteria and harden tooth enamel. If you practice good dental hygiene, dark chocolates can actually lower your risk of getting cavities! Go tell your mom and put an end to the drama, once and for all.

9.IT CAN TREAT COUGHS

Theobromine, a mild stimulant also does wonders when it comes to suppressing coughs. 'These chemical compounds block sensory nerves from the activity, and consequently stop the cough reflex,' says Dr Rashmi. Now you know you need to gravitate towards chocolate rather than cough syrup.

10.IT ACTS AS A STRESS RELIEVER

'Researchers have been able to trace a direct correlation between those who eat dark chocolate regularly with lower levels of the stress hormone circulating in the blood,' informs Dr Rashi. However, one must keep in mind that anything in excess is harmful to human health. Consuming dark chocolate in regulated quantities is advisable.

11.IT IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH

Dr Rashi states that the flavonoids present in dark chocolate increase your skin density and hydration and improve blood flow to the skin.

12.IT CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

'Researchers have found that eating dark chocolates regularly lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is often referred to as the 'bad' cholesterol. The powerful antioxidants present in dark chocolate serve to protect against oxidative damage,' states Dr Rashmi.

13. A RICH SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS

Yes, you heard that right. 'Dark chocolate is enriched with an array vitamins and minerals that are vital for our body's functioning. It has a high concentration of magnesium, iron, potassium, and copper. While magnesium helps prevent high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other heart diseases, iron protects against anemia,' claims Dr Rashmi.

14.IT'S GOOD FOR INSULIN RESISTANCE

'Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is a good option for those with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. This translates to the fact that by eating it your sugar levels won't rise. Dark chocolates re-train your body to use the insulin effectively,' she adds.

15. WELL BECAUSE IT'S CHOCOLATE, DUH

Enough said. I think we've managed to convince you.

Источник: http://www.bridestoday.in/weddings-and-planning/story/15-reasons-why-eating-chocolate-is-actually-good-for-you-according-to-health-experts-1819

The Health Benefits and Risks of Dark Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? What if you could eat it every day for your health? Eating chocolate every day might sound too good to be true, but research shows that there are some excellent health gains associated with eating dark chocolate. There are, however, also some potential risks.

Before we look at the health benefits and risks of dark chocolate, let’s take a look at how dark chocolate is made.

From Bean to Bar

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans that grow on cacao trees, originally native to Central America and now grown in tropical climates throughout the world. A single cacao tree produces 20 to 30 cocoa pods per year, and each pod contains around 40 cocoa beans. It takes one year’s yield from a single tree to produce about five dark chocolate bars.

Cocoa pods mature on the vine and are hand-harvested, then cut open to dry. The cocoa beans, covered in a white pulp, are laid out in the sun to ferment, and the chocolate flavor starts to emerge. Different types of fermentation processes result in different flavors of chocolate. The dried beans are then cracked open, the shells are removed, and the remaining cocoa nibs are roasted.

The roasting process also affects the flavor of the cocoa nibs. Roasted nibs are ground into a liquid called cocoa liquor, which is free of alcohol and contains 50 to 60 percent cocoa butter. From there the cocoa liquor can be further refined into cocoa powder, or other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, nuts, fruits, or milk can be added to the cocoa liquor to make chocolate bars.

Dark chocolate contains 60 percent or more cocoa, and no milk. Milk chocolate only contains 5 to 7 percent cocoa, and white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa at all—just cocoa butter and milk. As with berries and leafy greens, the darker the color of the chocolate, the more antioxidant properties it contains and the better it is for you. Also, milk binds to the antioxidants eliminating their ability to fight free radicals, so eating milk chocolate or drinking milk with dark chocolate has few to no health benefits.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Chocolate has been used for its healing properties for more than 3,000 years, and dates back to the early Mayans. Now researchers are finding scientific evidence for those healing properties.

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, a powerful type of antioxidant that is also found in foods like berries, green and black tea, and red wine. These polyphenols help to defend the body’s cells against free radicals from environmental toxins and diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation. In fact, one study by Yale University Prevention Research Center indicated that chocolate contains more phenolic antioxidants than any other food.

It’s Good for the Circulatory System

Studies done at the University of Southern California, the Institute of Cardiology in Russia, and the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, showed that consumption of dark chocolate helps improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, lowers LDL blood cholesterol (bad cholesterol), increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), improves vascular function, and reduces the risk of stroke. According to a study of overweight men done at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, consuming dark chocolate daily for four weeks helped restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. This is significant because arterial rigidity and white blood cell adhesion are both factors in heart disease.

It’s Good for Brain Cognition and Your Mood

The same study mentioned above by Yale University Prevention Research Center showed that dark chocolate has significant positive effects on cognitive function in the brain. Results from a study done in the UK confirmed that eating dark chocolate provides an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions. A study done at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, revealed “significantly increased self-rated calmness and contentedness relative to placebo” in participants who consumed a dark-chocolate drink mix for 30 days.

It’s High in Minerals

Dark chocolate is a mineral powerhouse. One ounce of dark chocolate—recommended daily serving—contains the following daily recommended doses of minerals: copper (25 percent), calcium (2 percent), iron (19 percent), magnesium (16 percent), potassium (6 percent), and zinc (6 percent).

It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Phytochemicals in dark chocolate have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Just keep an eye on the sugar content, as sugar is an inflammatory food. To get the most anti-inflammatory benefits from chocolate, go for the high cocoa content and least amount of sugar.

It Improves Insulin Sensitivity

New research from Queen Margaret University in the U.K. shows that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin resistance by decreasing glucose levels in non-diabetic adults.

Health Risks of Eating Dark Chocolate

Although there are many great health benefits of eating dark chocolate, there are also some downsides.

It Contains Caffeine

Dark chocolate contains 35 milligrams of caffeine per ounce compared to 145 milligrams for an 8-ounce cup of black coffee. Consider that if you’re trying to watch your caffeine intake or not hinder your ability to fall asleep at night.

It Can Increase the Risk of Kidney Stones

Dark chocolate contains a component found in many plants and animals called oxalates, which can increase the risk of kidney stones. If you’re prone to getting kidney stones you may want to watch your dark chocolate consumption.

It Can Bring on Migraines

Dark chocolate has been implicated in some migraines. However, there are also people who are prone to migraines and don’t seem to be affected by dark chocolate, so the jury is still out. If you have a tendency to get migraines you may want to cut dark chocolate out of your diet to see if it helps.

Moderation Is Key

As with any sweet treat, moderation is key. Some dark chocolates contain more sugar and fat than others, although it’s typically a healthy fat from cocoa butter. Generally the higher the percentage of cocoa the less sugar it will contain, but this is not always the case. Read the labels to ensure just what your dark chocolate contains. And strive to not exceed 1 ounce per day.

Consult your healthcare practitioner if you’re concerned about caffeine, kidney stones, or migraines. For the best dark chocolate, shop at local chocolatiers, and buy organic and/or fair-trade whenever possible.

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.

Ready to take control of your health?Download the Chopra App for personalized well-being guidance you can access anywhere.

Источник: https://chopra.com/articles/the-health-benefits-and-risks-of-dark-chocolate

Why chocolate is so addicting — and how to tap into the health benefits

This sugar and milk combo affects the brain like a drug, in that it triggers changes in the dopamine system on a molecular level, Avena explains. “A cascade of neurochemical changes can occur,” she says. “Milk chocolate will simulate sweet taste receptors. You won't see that with dark chocolate as it's bitter and somewhat aversive. Sweet taste receptors alone stimulate a dopamine release, sending projections that say, ‘This is a pleasurable experience; Let's do it again.’”

Self-control can easily go out the window when facing a milk chocolate candy bar, because your brain is so pumped full of feel-good chemicals. Additionally, your brain is forming affirming associations with each and every bite, such that even if you do manage to have just a nibble, your brain will basically bookmark the experience as a wildly good one that you should have again, pronto.

“The next time you even look at say, a Hershey’s wrapper, your brain will know that’s the signal for that powerful pleasurable feeling,” says Avena. “This is why you don’t see food brands change their labeling. Our brains are wired to be wary of new foods.”

Fueling the vicious cycle is the possibility that the neurons that create dopamine can down-regulate, meaning “they just stop making as much dopamine,” Avena says. Again, chocolate in this respect acts just like a drug. The more you take over time, the more you need to get that high.

The same neurochemical avalanche, if you will, can be triggered by white chocolate, which Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., registered dietitian nutritionist and senior editor of health and wellness strategy at Remedy Review, says is “technically not chocolate, as it's devoid of cocoa solids and cocoa powder altogether.”

Want to reap the health benefits of chocolate? The darker, the better

There’s been a lot of buzz about the health perks of chocolate in recent years, but it’s crucial to note that the only kind of chocolate that touts notable benefits (beyond a trace of calcium in milk chocolate) is dark chocolate — and the darker the better. In fact, in its natural ‘plant-based’ form, chocolate touts great nutrients.

“The cacao used to make chocolate is chock full of a variety of plant bioactive compounds known as polyphenols, particularly flavonoids (especially flavanols), catechins, epicatechins and procyanidins,” says Ferira. “Cocoa powder delivers about 50 mg of polyphenols per gram. Dark chocolate contains significantly more of these beneficial polyphenols than milk and white chocolate varieties.”

5 ways that chocolate is good for your health

  • It has antioxidants. “Quercetin, a type of antioxidant, is present in chocolate in quite high concentrations,” says Emily Van Eck, MS, a registered dietitian nutritionist and intuitive eating counselor. “Antioxidants have many beneficial and disease preventing functions in the body due to their ability to scavenge free radicals.”
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties. “Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases,” says Van Eck.
  • It’s rich in heart- and lung-healthy elements. Dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, “a phenolic compound [that] is a vasodilator, so it can relax arteries and lower blood pressure, potentially improving cardiovascular disease risk,” says Van Eck. “Chocolate also contains theophylline, which increases cardiac output, or how much blood the heart is pumping out. It also increases bronchial dilation, so it increases the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen.” Erika Fox, a registered dietitian nutritionist at 310 Nutrition, adds that research suggests that “flavanols have the power to improve blood flow and oxygen levels, ultimately improving blood pressure and having a positive effect on heart health.”
  • It could boost your cognition. “Flavonols have been shown to boost blood flow in the brain and may also be able to boost memory and improve cognitive performance,” says Dr. Brad Herskowitz, neurologist for the Miami Neuroscience Institute.
  • And boost your mood. “As many studies have shown, dark chocolate can improve mood,” says Van Eck. “It seems these effects are due both to the palatability, taste and texture of chocolate, as well as the psychoactive components. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which increases alertness.”

To tap into the benefits of chocolate and get the highest flavanol content, the type of chocolate is important. “To get the most benefit, look for dark chocolate with higher percentages of cacao,” says Fox. “[It] contains higher amounts of nutrients, especially compared to milk chocolates.”

Yes, dark chocolate has benefits, but it’s not exactly a miracle food

The consensus among the experts I consulted is that while dark chocolate has attractive qualities from a nutritional perspective, the jury is out on just how impactful these benefits really are in comparison to say, leafy greens. So, rather than deeming dark chocolate a miracle food to be consumed in abundance, it’s smarter to approach it as a potentially healthful treat that’s best enjoyed in moderation — after all, it’s still high in fat, calories and caffeine and contains sugar.

“While there is no clinical consensus on recommended consumption levels of dark chocolate, and every person's nutritional needs and health situation is unique, a dietitian-approved serving of dark chocolate is typically discussed as 1-2 ounces (1-2 squares) per day,” says Ferira.

Think dark chocolate is too bitter? You can train your brain to enjoy it

As I work on cleaning up my diet (milk chocolate owl splurge aside), I’m trying to swap out my normal processed sweets for high-percentage dark chocolate, but it hasn’t been easy. The bitterness turns me off. This is to be expected after a life of devouring milk chocolate.

Fortunately, there are some tricks we can implement to train our brain to appreciate dark chocolate. Here’s 5 expert-recommended tips:

  • Start with a low percentage cacao and work your way up. “Start with a lower percentage dark chocolate, like 50 percent [cacao],” says Ferira. “Don't go for 90 out the gate. Start low, go slow, and go up from there. I think this is the most practical approach.”
  • Eat more fruit. If you’re used to getting your sugar fix from ultra-processed sweets such as milk and white chocolate, your taste buds' sensitivity to less abrasive, more natural sweet flavors has likely been drastically dulled. Ferira recommends opting for fruit when you have a craving for something sugary in a move to “train your taste buds over time to recognize natural sources of sweetness versus things chock full of added sugars,” she says.
  • Get creative with pairings. What usually turns people off to dark chocolate is the bitterness. In addition to starting at a lower cacao percentage and working your way up, get creative with pairings. Pairing dark chocolate with something naturally sweet “like blueberries or raspberries or whatever fruits you like,” is another strategy Ferira recommends. In supermarkets, you’ll find tons of products that claim to already do this (chocolate-covered acai, for instance); this might be a good gateway option to dark chocolate, but don’t be fooled into thinking that these fruit plus dark chocolate combos are as good for you as pairing plain dark chocolate with real fruit. Often these packaged products touting cacao and fruit “can be amazingly dense in calories and/or sugars,” adds Ferira.
  • Increase exposure to dark chocolate while phasing out milk and white. “If you eat milk chocolate and then have dark chocolate, the dark will probably taste awful in comparison,” says Avena. “But over time, the less time you spend eating milk chocolate and the more you spend eating dark chocolate, the dark will naturally start to taste better because you're not making that comparison.”
  • Pay attention to how your body feels after eating dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. “We will always like unhealthy things because they overpower our neurochemical responses,” says Avena. “But if you can convince yourself you have benefits with healthier foods, over time they won’t be as aversive. When people say that they love Brussels sprouts, they’re usually [indicating] that they’ve become accustomed to the health benefits of Brussels sprouts and how they make them feel. It’s less of a direct relationship.”

More nutrition advice

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Источник: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/why-chocolate-so-addicting-how-tap-health-benefits-ncna1140351

The health benefits of dark chocolate are widely known—especially its effect on your heart. But new research is finding that chocolate may help boost your performance. Here's what you need to know before breaking off a square (or two).

Go Dark For Your Heart
Studies have found that a daily square of dark chocolate can improve your heart health thanks to its flavanols, which serve as antioxidants. One study from 2010 showed that a small dose of dark chocolate could decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. 

But it matters what type of dark chocolate you nibble on. For the heart health benefits, reach for at least 70 percent cacao, which is fairly bitter without the added fat and sugar. And don’t forget that even though dark chocolate is considered a (somewhat) healthy treat, it still packs plenty of calories. A 100-gram bar of 85 percent dark chocolate, for example, clocks in around 600 calories, 450 of which come from fat. 

Minimal Processing, Better Performance
New research is finding that chocolate—even at lower percentages of cacao than is normally recommended—may have a performance-boosting effect. 

Recent U.K. research shows that epicatechin, an antioxidant found in the cacao (cocoa) bean, may have slight performance benefits.

The study, while small, showed that cyclists who consumed 40 grams of dark chocolate (Dove, in this case) a day displayed slight improvements in distance compared to their performance after consuming white chocolate. 

White chocolate is highly processed, which means it’s lost most, if not all, of its epicatechin. 

“The more chocolate is processed the more antioxidant flavonols, including epicatechin, are lost,” said Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.

Dove dark chocolate has high levels of epicatechin, study co-author Rishikesh Patel told Runner’s World by email. And a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found it to improve blood flow in arteries.

But Dove dark chocolate is relatively low in cacao—only 53 percent. Which poses the question, does cacao percentage matter when it comes to performance? Patel and colleagues are currently analyzing different levels of flavanols in chocolate to measure their effectiveness on exercise. But the results won't be out until next year. 

The Takeaway
The more processed the chocolate, the less of the good stuff (heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin) there is. So while Patel’s study found you may be able to to get a small performance benefit from the sweeter-tasting Dove dark chocolate, it’s more processed than other options that may be better for your heart, like cacao nibs. Nibs, available online and at gourmet grocery stores, are very close to the original, unprocessed bean, with a texture not unlike a coffee bean. 

“A higher cacao percentage will taste more bitter, so it really just depends on your taste preferences,” Ryan said. 

But whatever you do, choose dark over milk chocolate, which has more added sugar and fat.

And while the participants of Patel’s study ate an entire 40-gram chocolate bar daily (1.4 ounces), Ryan suggests a smaller amount to keep your waistline in check. 

“I would keep it to half an ounce or one ounce per serving—just from a calorie perspective,” she said. 

Dove's 40.8-gram dark chocolate bar is 220 calories and 13 grams fat.

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Источник: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20795668/how-much-chocolate-do-you-need-to-eat-for-health-benefits/

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

While you probably don’t need us to give you a reason to eat dark chocolate every day, you may be surprised by all the scientifically-backed health benefits it boasts! Here are five claims that validate your dark chocolate addiction…

  • Boosts your mood - Yep, chocolate really does make you happy! Dark chocolate contains a small amount of an amino acid called tryptophan, which the brain uses to make serotonin – this is known as the “happy chemical” as it causes a feeling of wellbeing.
  • Lowers insulin resistance - A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating a small amount of dark chocolate (up to 100g a day) with high levels of cocoa led to reduced insulin resistance, which in turn could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Good for the heart - A study of 4970 participants in Boston showed that eating dark chocolate at least five times a week reduces both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%, due to the flavonoids (beneficial phytonutrients) found in cocoa.
  • High in antioxidants - Dark chocolate is packed with a wide range of powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. If you’re wondering what these are, they help protect cells from being damaged and get rid of harmful free radicals in the body.
  • Reduces stress hormones - Would you believe that dark chocolate can even help to alleviate stress? Studies have found that it reduces the body’s levels of cortisol (the natural stress hormone), as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines. No wonder we crave chocolate when we’re stressed!

However, don’t forget that even though chocolate can be highly nutritious, like everything in life its best consumed in moderation!

Why is “high cocoa” good for farmers and for the environment?

It is good news for farmers if chocolate lovers are increasingly exploring and enjoying higher cocoa chocolates. The simple reason is that the more cocoa in the chocolate, the more cocoa we need to buy – and that means more income for farmers. There was a time when nearly all the chocolate on sale had a high milk and sugar content with sometimes as little as 20% cocoa solids, so you can imagine that a trend towards 70% cocoa and higher could make a big difference.

The Divine model not only delivers Fairtrade premium on top of the cost of the cocoa, but also the biggest share of profits to the farmers’ coop in Ghana that owns the company. The coop in Ghana, and also the cocoa farmers in Sao Tome and Sierra Leone, and the sugar farmers in Malawi Divine also buys from also benefit from a share in our PS&D (Producer Support and Development Fund – 2% of our annual turnover) invested in their priority farmer projects, including for the last 20 years, working to empower women farmers. In addition, the Sao Tome farmers are not only receiving the Fairtrade premium, but the organic premium too – so even more income for their cocoa.

The more farmers receive, the more investment they can put into learning adaptive farming methods, including diversifying into additional crops (which improves soil, brings in additional income, and provides food for families), as well as education, and all the most important community improvements.

Fairtrade premium is used by farmers to sink wells for drinking water, send their children to school, and improve local schools, improving sanitation, and paying for healthcare, as well as paying for vital equipment, for example corn mills, to run their own businesses.

Divine’s PS&D is currently directly supporting farming training and a gender equality programme in Sao Tome, and an innovative Forest Friendly programme in Sierra Leone, which enables farmers to improve their cocoa crop without cutting down trees to grow more, but by living in harmony with the rainforest and its wildlife.

In summary, dark chocolate is better for you, farmers and the environment, milk chocolate is higher in sugar and milk fat.

Written by

Eli Brecher & Charlotte Borger

https://elibrecher.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/elibrechernutrition/

https://twitter.com/elibrecher

References:

Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. British Journal of Nutrition. 2016. 17:1-8.

Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Clinical Nutrition Journal. 2011.30(2):182-7.

Источник: https://www.divinechocolate.com/divine-world/why-dark-chocolate-is-good-for-you-the-farmers-and-the-environment/

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