You might or might not already know this but chocolate can actually be a part of our diet. The only condition is that it needs to be 70 percent or higher in cocoa content. Dark chocolate has been found to contain a number of vital nutrients that can help keep the body healthy, all the while satisfying our sweet-tooth and not breaking our calorie-budget.
Why is it So Good for Us?
As we all know, fiber is extremely important for us to keep our digestive system healthy and regular. It promotes regularity and helps to keep cholesterol in check. Fiber is also very important when cutting calories because it provides bulk to our stomach and helps keep us feeling full and satisfied. A 100 grams of 70 percent dark chocolate contains about 10 grams of fiber. (Daily recommendation is 25-35grams)
Dark chocolate also contains a healthy amount of essential minerals, such as Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc. 100grams contains approximately 70 percent RDA of Iron, 90 percent RDA of Copper, 60 percent RDA of Magnesium, 98 percent RDA of Manganese and trace amounts of all others.
Dark chocolate also has an abundant of anti-oxidants, including catechins, flavanols and polyphenols. All these anti-oxidants help to fight the free radicals within the body and help to reduce the effects of ageing and improve skin health.
Improves Brain Function
Some studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate rich in flavanols, which improves the blood flow to the brain. This causes an improvement in cognitive function and can help to reduce serious issues, such as strokes. The caffeine and theobromine in cocoa can also influence a temporary increase in brain function and significantly improve reaction time.
Improves Heart Health
Since dark chocolate has been found to improve blood flow, it helps to prevent the clogging of arteries. Dark chocolate also helps to prevent white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls. Both these methods help to improve heart health.
Helps Burn Fat
Yes, the fiber in dark chocolate helps to keep you full but that is not the only way that it can help you burn fat. As crazy as it sounds, dark chocolate actually contains a compound called Theobromine, which has been shown in various studies to help improve insulin sensitivity and act as a mild stimulant. This helps the body to effectively metabolize carbohydrates and temporarily provide a boost in your metabolism. Just make sure not to over-do it as dark chocolate is quite calorie dense and also contains a fair bit of sugar. Make sure to stay within your calorie limits for the day.