10 Reasons To Eat Dark Chocolate! The world has always been having a universal love affair with chocolate and every now and then we find a way to justify eating it so we feel a little less guilty. It’s time to kick that guilt to the curb because chocolate is a natural medicine and regular consumption of chocolate has been proven to have incredible health benefits to the body. As you read down the list and the reasons behind them keep in mind that these reasons are not a reflection of the ‘stuff’ you can buy in any store but are what you can find here.
Is chocolate the ‘new’ super fruit or super food? Science seems to think so but exactly what is a ‘super food’? A super food is a food that delivers high amounts of antioxidants to the body. Outlined for you below is a comparison of a few foods and their ORAC scores (antioxidants) measured at *100 grams.
- Chocolate is a heart healthy whole ‘clean’ food. There is solid evidence that chocolate is beneficial to the heart. The flavanoid compounds found inside of chocolate are the hero’s because they help the body to produce ‘nitric oxide’ that is essential for optimum heart function. These compounds also help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure because it is a natural vasodilator; meaning it expands the veins to let blood flow more freely.
- Chocolate helps to promote weight loss. It’s no secret that dark chocolate helps curb your appetite and when consumed about 20 minutes before a meal it sends signals to your brain telling it ‘I’m not as hungry.’ Change your dinner plate to a bread plate and trick your brain into thinking that ‘there is a lot of food’ on that plate! Raw organic chocolate is high in antioxidants and is connected to weight loss!
- Chocolate helps reduce inflammation in the body that is silent and can be deadly. What you cannot see inside of you can be dangerous. When it comes to inflammation, do not live in the world of ‘it happens to other people’ because it can happen to you, too and most likely already is. The natural anti-inflammatory compounds found inside raw dark chocolate are a great way to put out the fire ‘within’. Some doctors use chocolate as a tool helping patients to combat inflammation. Inflammation can be in your joints and cause pain but it is also the catalyst of many diseases and obesity.
- Chocolate helps reduces the affects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS. Studies have shown that regular consumption of a high flavanol content chocolate reduces the effects of CFS. I experienced the ‘cure’ well before the study came out and it was fantastic to see the reasons behind ‘why’.
- If you don’t have time to eat right, then you should be eating chocolate each day as a dietary supplement. One ounce (28grams) of chocolate a day is like getting 12+ servings of fruits and veggies. What?!!! That’s right! Based on the ORAC score that measures antioxidants, raw unprocessed cacao delivers a whopping 95,500 ORAC per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces! (see the ORAC Score Table below) There is an increasing amount of evidence that shows the more antioxidants you have in your body each day the healthier you will be and feel.
- Chocolate is a high nutrient dense super food. The key word here is ‘food’ not candy. Imagine being stuck on a deserted island; you could survive with raw organic chocolate because it gives your body everything it needs and then some!
- Chocolate helps level blood sugars in diabetics and may even prevent Type 2 diabetes. Diabetics take note! Consuming dark chocolate that is high in flavanols on a regular basis has been shown to level blood sugars and may even help keep Type 2 diabetes at bay. If you hear a Diabetic say they can’t eat chocolate then they must be talking about candy with chocolate in it and they should NOT be eating candy. They should be eating pure raw organic chocolate.
- Chocolate boosts Serotonin levels in the brain because it helps the brain produce Anandomide the ‘Bliss Chemical’. Raw chocolate also contains the amino acid called Tryptophan. It is that chemical that helps make you feel sleepy after a Thanksgiving dinner, and regular consumption may help promote better sleep in some people!
- Are you tired all the time? Chocolate helps boost your energy levels. Raw organic chocolate contains a compound called Theobromine and it is a natural safe cousin to caffeine. Theobromine is non addictive and helps to relax breathing muscles. Asthmatics may find relief by consuming raw organic chocolate on a daily basis.
- Chocolate medicine? Yes! Raw organic chocolate contains the same compounds and power that we hear about in the history of chocolate from thousands of years ago. (Doctors used to use raw chocolate as medicine prior to the Industrial Revolution. Chocolate was considered the ‘cure all’ for patients especially those with stomach ailments, coughs and fatigue. Lewis and Clark even used it and carried it with them on their Expedition.)
*What are grams and what does a serving of food look like in grams?
That all depends on the food you are selecting because grams are a metric measurement of weight by ‘mass’. Using a food scale to measure will give you the most accurate ‘visual’.
One ounce (American measurement) is 28 grams and 100 grams is approximately 3.5 ounces.
Listed below is a more detailed breakdown thanks to wiki.answers.com.
3 teaspoons =1 tablespoon= 1/2 ounce =14.3 grams
2 tablespoons =1/8 cup= 1 ounce =28.3 grams
4 tablespoons =1/4 cup= 2 ounces =56.7 grams
5 1/3 tablespoons =1/3 cup= 2.6 ounces =75.6 grams
8 tablespoons= 1/2 cup =4 ounces =113.4 grams
12 tablespoons= 3/4 cup =6 ounces = .375 pound
32 tablespoons =2 cups =16 ounces =1 pound
As science continues its studies on chocolate there will be more reasons to help us validate and justify why we should eat dark chocolate. Chocoholics will always welcome more reasons to eat chocolate but the bigger challenge will be determining which one to eat based on their lifestyle and nutritional needs. Embrace raw organic chocolate because it will rock your world!