Chocolate is a relishing and the ultimate comfort food. The good news for consumers is that there are number of benefits of dark chocolate. It acts as a mood- enhancer, romance-inducer and is a source of consolation to handle stress, especially when one feels down and out.
Chocolates contain 70% of cocoa that is a key source of antioxidants. Loaded with nutrients, dark chocolate has many positive effects on health. Studies have suggested that benefits of dark chocolate include lowering the risk of heart problems while improving blood circulation, brain functioning, dealing with obesity, diabetes and autism.
Beneficial for Heart and Circulation
Dark chocolate prevents the white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls. It also helps in restoring flexibility of arteries, thus reducing the chances of artery clogging. The constituent found in dark chocolates greatly protects consumers from oxidation of LDL. This leads to reduced lodging of cholesterol in arteries and in the long term, even lowers the chances of heart diseases.
According to a trusted Cardiologist in Fortis Hospital Gurgaon,
Dark chocolate reduces the risk of calcified plaque present in arteries and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it is safe to say that consumption of dark chocolates regularly helps in keeping the heart healthy.
Reduces the Possibility of Stroke
After testing the effects on a group of people, an astonishing fact was observed that 17% of people are less likely to suffer a stroke after having dark chocolates in routine.
The main ingredient of dark chocolate i.e. cocoa helps in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) level and raises the level of good cholesterol (HDL). It thus reduces the possibility of cardiovascular diseases. When oxidized LDL reacts with free radicals and the particle of LDL becomes reactive. This in turn damages other tissues including arteries lining in the heart. Cocoa contains sufficient amount of powerful antioxidants that flows into the bloodstream and safeguard lipoproteins from oxidative damage. Dark chocolates also help in reducing insulin resistance which is a key factor causing heart ailments.
Improves flow of Blood and Lowers Blood Pressure
The flavanols present in dark chocolates stimulates the lining of arteries and enables them to produce a gas named nitric oxide (NO). The main function of NO is to relax the arteries by sending signals. It reduces the resistance to flow of blood and hence, lowers the blood pressure.
Dark chocolate containing high cocoa content is quite nutritious. It contains soluble fiber in sufficient amount. It is also packed with enough of minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper and potassium phosphorous. All these nutrients help keep the heart in a healthy condition.
Although dark chocolates are beneficial for heart patients, this does not mean that all chocolates have positive effects on the heart and should become a part of routine diet. Modern manufacturers of chocolates add dairy products and sugar that together make it a high-calorie food. Hence, chocolate should be consumed in its pure and authentic form i.e. real dark chocolate that proves to be heart healthy food.