It is fitting with the holiday tomorrow that we look at some of the positive benefits of dark chocolate. It takes only two to three ounces of dark chocolate per week to achieve these benefits.
Dark chocolate is in the top 10 dietary sources of antioxidants,
along with seasonings like cloves, mint, anise, cacao powder, black
chokeberry, and black elderberry, according to the European Journal
of Clinical Nutrition. Dark chocolate is also rich in bioactive
flavanols and theobromine. These have good effects on the cells of
our hearts and blood vessels.
The Journal of the American Heart Association research showed that
eating dark chocolate helped people who have peripheral artery
disease walk farther and longer.
Eating dark chocolate is linked to significantly lower blood
pressure. Systolic blood pressure (top number) for people who ate
dark chocolate went down by three points. Diastolic (bottom number)
blood pressure went down by two points.
Researchers followed a group of more than 37,000 men for 10 years
and counted instances of stroke. The numbers showed that those who
ate about 63 grams (2 oz.) of chocolate per week had a lower risk of
stroke, compared with those who ate no chocolate. Five additional
studies also showed lower stroke risk, on average by about 20
percent for chocolate eaters.
Those who had the dark chocolate saw an average drop of 12 percent
in their LDL cholesterol, known as bad cholesterol, which is linked
to higher risks of heart disease.
A June 2014 study found that eating dark chocolate helped people
better cope with stress.
I could go on about the super benefits of dark chocolate covered
bacon, but will save that for another day.