People previously considered dark chocolate as a rare treat, but it is now becoming the acceptable snack for individuals seeking for healthy diets. Studies have supported dark chocolate to have many health benefits not found in other variety, increasing its availability and demand all over the world. However, the price and quality of dark chocolate from different sources vary widely. As a result, people need to choose the right chocolate for the benefits as otherwise can be detrimental to their health.
Cocoa Content: The dark chocolate must have a minimum of 65% cocoa. The cocoa is from where flavonoids are derived, not from the fats or sugar that accompanies them. Therefore, the higher the cocoa content, the more nutritious qualities it provides.
Store in a Cool Dry Place: Many prefer dark chocolate bars, which are available in various sizes ranging from 1 to 3 ounces. Eating just one smaller bar can be enough. Others prefer buying larger bars and then break it into smaller pieces that they can use for several days. Nevertheless, they should store the remaining pieces in a dark, dry place at a temperature ranging between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius. Such condition can preserve a wrapped chocolate for up to a year.
It is inevitable to refrigerate it if living in a warm climate because some chocolate candies like truffles may not last for more than a month at room temperature. Furthermore, they should wrap it in plastic or foil to keep it from food odors and must allow it to heat up to room temperature before consuming it.
Studies show that all dark chocolate bar except those Dutch-processed to provide plenty of flavonoids. CocoaVia is another recommendable choice as well that offers soy products, which are good for heart health. Here are some of the legitimate reasons for people to eat dark chocolate every day.
Reduces Inflammation: In general, the abundant flavonoids in cocoa, including epicatechin are valuable in the body for reducing inflammation and protecting cells from damage.
Research shows that 1 ounce of dark chocolate, (cocoa content 60 to 70 percent), has about 160 calories. It is rich in magnesium, a useful mineral in facilitating healthy muscle and nerve function. In fact, this amount has about 55 mg of magnesium, which is 10% of what the body need each day, and exceeds the amount of magnesium that one can derive from two slices of wholegrain bread. Studies further note that people with magnesium deficient exhibit chocolate craving. It also contributes 5% of the total selenium that the body uses in a day, which is a mineral known for its antioxidant property.
Dark Chocolate Reduces Diabetes Risk: A report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claimed the ability of flavonoids to improve insulin resistance in the body. Such resistance can lead to diabetes as it makes the body not to respond adequately to insulin needs. A combination of this effect with the flavonoids’ impact on blood vessels can be very helpful for patients with diabetes since vascular problems are usually a complication of diabetes.
Dark Chocolate For Vascular Diseases: Numerous studies reveal several heart benefits of the flavonoids found in dark chocolate. They confirm that consuming about one and a half ounces of Dove dark chocolate each day improves blood vessel function.
Maintaining such low intake of dark chocolate reduces the risk of atherosclerosis or thickening of the arteries, a condition that can lead to heart disease and stroke. Therefore, eating dark chocolate favors healthy blood vessels, thereby ensuring unconstructed blood flow and a healthy blood pressure level.
Dark Chocolate is Good For Pregnant Women: Yale University conducted a study in 2008 involving pregnant women who ate different amounts of chocolate. The research found women who consumed much of it to have higher levels of theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, in their system than those who ate less. This chemical is believed to have contributed to their lower risk of suffering from preeclampsia, a common condition in pregnant women having high blood pressure.
Why Avoid Dutch-Processed Cocoa?
The method used in the process of deriving a bar of chocolate from raw cocoa beans can affect the concentration of flavonols in the final product. The Dutching process involves treating the seeds with an alkaline substance to reduce the natural bitterness and acidity of cocoa. However, the product is going to have much fewer flavonoids as the process destroys most of it.