Is dark chocolate good for you? Packed with antioxidants and with a wealth of health benefits, who knew chocolate could be good for your health?!
The benefits of dark chocolate are plentiful, and some we may not of even thought about before. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants which studies have shown can improve our health and wellbeing. Check out the list below to find out more on the deliciously dark treat.
Is dark chocolate good for you?
When looking for a high quality bar of dark chocolate, it’s important to note the cocoa content. The higher the cocoa content, the more pure the chocolate and the better it is for you. A typical 100g bar of dark chocolate with 70%-85% cocoa contains:
· 11 grams of fibre
· 67% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron
· 58% of the RDA for magnesium
· 89% of the RDA for copper
· 98% of the RDA for manganese
Is dark chocolate healthy?
Cacao contains flavanols, a type of flavonoid found only in cocoa and chocolate. Flavanols are naturally occurring compounds which occur in plant foods that act as antioxidants and help to cancel out free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells) in the body.
Studies have shown that cocoa and dark chocolate have more antioxidant activity, flavanols and polyphenols than fruits such as blueberries and acai berries. That's not to say you should replace fruit with chocolate, but you can take a nibble on it knowing it's doing some good, at least.
Is dark chocolate vegan?
Yes, dark chocolate is vegan! Made without cow’s milk or any form of milk from an animal, dark chocolate is typically made from sugar, vanilla, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Dark chocolate is a great non-diary alternative for vegans, a bar containing 50% or more cocoa is best for maximum taste and benefits of dark chocolate.
What are the other benefits of dark chocolate?
As well as being high in antioxidants and minerals, low in sugar, 100% vegan and not to mention tastes delicious, dark chocolate has a variety of other benefits too. It it suggested in some research that dark chocolate can help lower the risk of heart disease, improve brain function and help reduce inflammation.
It is also said to improve blood pressure due to the flavanols in dark chocolate. Flavanols stimulate the production of nitric oxide which causes blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow as it does so and in turn, lowers blood pressure.