14 Apr THE TRUTH ABOUT DARK CHOCOLATE…
Gladstone News asked Katrina from The Health Nut for the low down on Dark Chocolate!
Is Dark Chocolate GOOD for you??? Yes! The health benefits of chocolate are many… but this has to be in its purist form – as close to the bean as you can get. The key to finding a GOOD for you chocolate bar is in the Cacao levels look for chocolate bars over 60% cacao with a preferred over 85% Cacao to be rich in antioxidants.
- Dark chocolate is rich in minerals a 100grm bar with 70-85% cocoa contains: 11 grams fibre 67% of RDI for iron, 58% of the RDI for magnesium. 89% of the RDI for copper, 98% of the RDI for manganese, and contains potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
- It is a powerful source of Antioxidants. Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds such as, polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, these are biologically active and function as antioxidants.
- Raises HDL and protects LDL from Oxidantion. The consumption of Dark Chocolate has been found to help improve several important risk factors to heart disease. In controlled studies cacao powder has been shown to significantly lower the oxidized LDL cholesterol in men (oxidized LDL means the LDL has reacted with free radicals) which makes the LDL particle capable of damaging other tissues. It has also been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol). Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance.
- May improve Brain Function. A study of healthy volunteers showed that eating high-flavanol cacao for 5 days improved the blood flow to the brain. Cacao contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, which may be the key reason why it can improve brain function.
- May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure: The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium to produce nitric oxide. One of the key functions of nitric oxide is to relax the arteries which can lower the resistance of blood flow therefore reducing blood pressure.
- May protect your skin from the sun: The flavonals can protect against sun damage, improve the blow flow and increase skin density and hydration.
There is considerable evidence that cacao can provide powerful health benefits. This does not mean you should go out and consume copious amounts of Dark Chocolate as it still carries calories and sugar. Be aware that when purchasing dark chocolate, it should be 70% or above for these benefits to be at their best. But if your wanting to treat yourself this Easter you can enjoy a Dark chocolate Egg knowing you are helping your health.