Did you know that not all chocolate is made equal? There’s chocolate that you find at the local convenience store, prepackaged, processed and chemical tasting. Then there’s the expensive, “artisan” dark chocolate. The former is great at temporarily putting you into a sugar coma. The latter, however, has some surprising health benefits.
Chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa contains high levels of iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. These are all trace minerals that your body needs in order to function properly. You can get most of your daily needs by eating a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate. As a bonus, it’s way tastier than taking a multi-vitamin!
Since chocolate comes from a plant, it’s no surprise that dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants. These are chemicals that protect your cells from damaging free radicals created by UV radiation and carcinogens. Along with antioxidants, dark chocolate also promotes blood flow. This is great for people who experience cardiovascular issues and for those suffering from altitude sickness.
Increased Blood Flow
Increased blood flow also means increased cardiovascular health as well as lower LDL and higher HDL. These are proteins that move cholesterol around in your body. LDL dumps cholesterol in your arteries while HDL moves cholesterol to your liver. Ideally, you always want more HDL and less LDL. The organ (other than your heart) that benefits most from all this improved circulation is your brain.
Improve Brain Function
Your brain is an oxygen-and-sugar-hungry organ. It consumes most of the calories that you eat every day and it requires a lot of upkeep. Many things can easily make you foggy, but by eating dark chocolate, your brain gets all the sugar and oxygen it needs. The result? Clearer thinking and better brain function.
When you’re looking to buy dark chocolate, the important thing to look for is the amount of cocoa and sugar. Buy bars that are low in sugar and high in cocoa (70% or more). They won’t taste like M&Ms, but we’re confident that you’ll fall in love with the smooth, sophisticated flavor of well-made dark chocolate.