There’s often a lot of smiles when clients at BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, find out that dark chocolate is actually healthy. Of course, there is a limit on the amount you should eat to reap those benefits and the quality of chocolate you should consume. It has to be high quality with a higher cocoa content of at least 70%. The higher the better. Dark chocolate does contain sugar, but the more cocoa, the lower the sugar count. It also has calories, which means you have to eat it in small amounts. One small square or two provides benefits, that delicious flavor and is about all you should eat in a day.
You’ll get nutrition and antioxidants in chocolate.
One bar of high quality chocolate, which rates about 70 to 85% cocoa, has 67% of the body’s requirement for iron, 58% of the requirement for magnesium, 89% of copper and 98% of the body’s daily requirement for manganese. It also contains 11 grams of fiber, lots of phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Dark chocolate also has antioxidants that help protect the cells from free radicals. The antioxidants include catechins, flavanols, polphenols and more. In fact, it beats blueberries and acai, two super foods, when it comes to antioxidants.
You could lower your blood pressure with a little chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains flavanols and those stimulate the lining of the arteries, which increases the production of nitric oxide. Why is that important? Nitric oxide causes the arteries to relax and that lowers the resistance of blood flow, which ultimately lowers blood pressure. Controlled studies show that it offers the effect of lowered blood pressure by way of improving blood flow, but the effect is mild. If you’re overweight and sedentary, the best way to lower your blood pressure is to lose weight and get more exercise.
Protect your blood vessels with dark chocolate.
You can improve your good cholesterol—HDL— and reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol—LDL—by consuming dark chocolate. That lowers the risk for heart disease. It helps lower LDL cholesterol, too. Oxidized LDL can cause damage to the lining of the arteries and the antioxidants in it provides that protection against oxidative damage.
- Dark chocolate can also improve insulin sensitivity, which also helps prevent diabetes, as well as preventing heart damage.
- Studies in elderly men found that over a period of 15-years, consumption of dark chocolate lowered the risk for heart disease by 50% to 57%. It also lowered the risk of calcified plaque build up in the arteries by another 32%.
- Dark chocolate might also boost your brain power. It improves blood flow to the brain with the caffeine and theobromine it contains. It’s shown to improve cognitive functioning in mentally impaired elderly patients.
- If you were surprised that chocolate is healthy for you, you’ll be amazed at how delicious many other healthy foods are. We’re ready at BioFit Performance to help you learn how to eat healthy and enjoy every minute of it.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance