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Chocolate is good for you? - Montego's Food Market

Chocolate is good for you?

Eating dark chocolate with high cocoa content in moderation can deliver antioxidants and minerals and may help protect you from heart disease. But it may also contain high amounts of sugar and calories.
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.
Made from the seed of the cacao tree, it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find.
Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Here are 7 health benefits of dark chocolate or cocoa that are supported by science.
1. Very nutritious
If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it’s quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains (1Trusted Source):
11 grams of fiber
66% of the DV for iron
57% of the DV for magnesium
196% of the DV for copper
85% of the DV for manganese
2. Powerful source of antioxidants
ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It’s a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
Basically, researchers set a bunch of free radicals (bad) against a sample of a food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can disarm the free radicals.
3. May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
The flavanoids in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce nitric oxide (NO) (5).
One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.
4. Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. It may protect against high cholesterol.
In a small study, eating dark chocolate supplemented with the flavanol lycopene was found to significantly decrease levels of total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
5. May reduce heart disease risk
The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL.
In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease.
6. May protect your skin from the sun
The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.
The flavanols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration7. Could improve brain function
The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of your brain.
Studies show that eating high flavanol cocoa can improve blood flow to the brain in young adults. This may explain why eating cocoa daily appears to improve attention, verbal learning, and memory.
The bottom line
There is considerable evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against heart disease.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It’s still loaded with calories and easy to overeat.
Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to savor them. If you want the benefits of cocoa without the calories in chocolate, consider making a hot cocoa without any cream or sugar.
Also, note that a lot of the chocolate on the market is not nutritious.
Choose quality stuff: dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. You might want to check out this guide on how to find the best dark chocolate.
Dark chocolates typically contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
Chocolate is a remarkable food that tastes awesome while providing significant health benefits.