Who doesn't love chocolate? It has an intense, decadent flavor that fills your senses. Good quality chocolate can quickly elevate a person's mood and help them focus. Of all the varieties available today, dark chocolate is considered the most nutritious. At Dr. Jen’s, we always encourage people to incorporate this ingredient in their regular diet. Here’s a look at why you should do it:
Dark chocolate is full of nutrients like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorous, and selenium. It is also a good source of fatty acids and fiber. A single 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa has around 11 grams of fiber.
You can also find a few natural stimulants like caffeine and theobromine in dark chocolate, but these are present in minimal quantities and will not keep you awake at night. It means you can munch on Dr. Jen's dark chocolate-flavored protein bars to eliminate midnight hunger pangs without losing sleep.
Antioxidants fight free radicals and reduce the chances of oxidative stress in the body. Free radicals and oxidative stress can cause significant damage to your body, speeding up the natural aging process. The long term effects of this damage include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eye disease, Parkinson’s disease, and much more.
Dark chocolate has several antioxidant compounds like flavonols, polyphenols, and catechins. Flavonols are particularly beneficial because they affect high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are contributing factors to heart disease. Regularly consuming dark chocolate may help prevent this.
3. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Dark chocolate has several compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which are highly beneficial for the body. Inflammation is a natural response to germs, allergies, infections, etc., but chronic inflammation is very harmful. It can cause conditions like arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
While research is still ongoing, several studies reveal that dark chocolate has a significant impact on chronic inflammation. For example, a study conducted on a select group of people with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 30 grams of 84% dark chocolate every day for eight weeks significantly reduced inflammatory biomarkers.
4. Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance happens when your body stops responding to the insulin hormone, which leads to elevated blood glucose levels. It can cause prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes; both are chronic conditions that can harm your overall health.
A study conducted with Hispanic participants back in 2018 found that eating 48 grams of 70% dark chocolate every day had an impact on fasting glucose levels as well as insulin resistance.
5. Protects Skin from Sun
This is a relatively unknown benefit of dark chocolate, but research backs it up. Flavonols present in cocoa protect your skin from sun damage, improve blood flow, helps retain hydration, and improve skin density. A study involving 30 people revealed that people were able to tolerate UVB exposure for more extended periods after consuming dark chocolate with high levels of flavonols.
You will still need a good sunscreen, but dark chocolate can help you tolerate the summer sun better.
6. Brain Function
Flavonols in dark chocolate improve neuroplasticity, which helps the brain adjust after some part of it is injured or damaged. It helps people with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. Some research also suggests that dark chocolate with high levels of flavonols can improve blood flow to the brain, and that helps develop its cognitive function.
If you want to incorporate dark chocolate into your routine, consider getting Dr. Jen's Ultimate Protein Bars. They are delicious, nutritious, filling, and a healthy alternative to junk food.