You’ve all seen at one time or another a news report or article about the health benefits of dark chocolate. More research has been done on one of our favorite confections in the last ten years giving chocoholics everywhere a chance to rejoice. There is very little health benefits in milk chocolate and none at all in white chocolate. Dark chocolate has medicinal properties and thanks to scientific studies we have learned it helps your heart health, promotes weight loss, helps keep blood sugars in diabetics stable and reduces the chance for diabetes, improves mood, improves cognitive function, helps to protect the skin from UV damage, promotes and increases energy levels and aids in reducing inflammation inside the body. It sounds too good to be true, right? The good news is it is true.
Dark chocolate has a high cacao measurement and that means it also has more antioxidants present. However, on the flip side any dark chocolate that has been heated loses up to 80% of the beneficial flavanols found in cacao but you are still getting ‘some’ of the catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins. Exactly how many cannot really be determined because store chocolate does not list those measurements on their packaging. The warning that science has for consumers who go to the store to buy dark chocolate is to make sure to read the list of ingredients. Commercial dark chocolates contain a good amount of ‘refined white sugar’ and sugar has been in the news quite a bit.
All of these medical studies have shown time and time again that flavanols are extremely beneficial in aiding cardiovascular disease. The Theobromine found in the cacao bean is a natural vasodilator. That means that it helps open up the veins and let blood flow easily thus reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Another benefit to eating dark chocolate that is high in antioxidants is the ability for the compounds found in chocolate help to fight free radical damage and oxidation which is killing your DNA. You can’t escape oxidation! Oxygen is something you need it to live and it’s all around you. Each time you take a breath and exhale not all of that oxygen leaves the body. What is left inside turns into free radicals and begin to attack your cells, killing them. Athletes are put at a higher risk for further oxidation damage due to the amount of oxygen intake during exercise. Studies performed on athletes who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis showed a reduction of free radical damage by these scavengers.
It is amazing what science and the medical world are unveiling through their clinical tests and it truly shows us that dark chocolate has medicinal properties. Consider eating raw organic chocolate to help bring the body back into balance naturally instead of taking synthetic medications. People who consume raw organic chocolate have stories to tell and that is because they have experienced the power of raw!