Did you know that cocoa contains antioxidants, just like fruits and vegetables? And did you know that chocolate can help you lose weight, keep your mind sharp, and may even stave off disease? If you’re like me, the answer to both of these questions is a big fat yes!
But wait, there’s more!
Chocolate is truly one of the most versatile foods in the world. It can be used to make desserts, drinks, and even savory food like stews and salads! Of course, the main reason we love it so much is because of all the wonderful flavor it brings to everything it touches. But that’s not all. The nutrients in chocolate, especially the antioxidants, have some powerful health benefits as well. So, let’s take a look at these sides of chocolate and see how eating chocolate can help you reach your health goals.
Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of antioxidants
Both dark and milk chocolate contain antioxidants, but dark chocolate has a higher concentration of antioxidant flavonols. The flavonols in dark chocolate may help protect your body from inflammation and oxidative damage, which can lead to heart disease and certain cancers.
Cocoa powder has a higher concentration of antioxidants
Cacao bliss powder has more antioxidants than both milk and dark chocolate. The antioxidants in cocoa help reduce blood pressure and keep your heart rhythm steady. They may also reduce the risk of cancer, improve brain function, and promote healthy skin. So, not only is cocoa delicious, it’s good for you too!
Dark chocolate has heart-healthy benefits
Dark chocolate has a low amount of saturated fat and high amount of polyphenols, fiber, and potassium, which can help protect your heart. The polyphenols in dark chocolate may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, improve blood flow, and stop inflammation.
Milk chocolate contains calcium and protein
Milk chocolate contains calcium, protein, and vitamin B6, which may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Milk chocolate also contains no sugar or dairy, making it a great snack for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
White chocolate contains no cocoa solids, but still has health benefits
White chocolate contains no actual chocolate. It’s just cocoa butter and milk powder, which still contain cocoa solids. White chocolate is low in calories and fat, and high in fiber. It may also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
The two primary antioxidants found in cocoa are flavonoids and polyphenols
Cocoa is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, two antioxidants shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The flavonoids in cocoa may protect the blood vessels that are important for heart health. The polyphenols in cocoa can help prevent oxidative damage caused by inflammation and have anti-inflammatory properties, protecting your heart.
Polyphenols in cocoa protect the heart
Cocoa flavonoids may protect your heart by lowering your blood pressure. The flavonoids in cocoa can also protect blood vessels from damage caused by high blood pressure.
Flavanoids in cocoa may help fight Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a breakdown of a protein in the brain. The condition is typically thought to be caused by oxidative damage, inflammation, and the accumulation of sticky proteins called Lewy bodies in the brain. Cocoa’s flavanols may help protect against oxidative damage caused by inflammation and may reduce the production of sticky Lewy bodies, thereby helping to prevent the onset of this disease.
Dark chocolate may help fight depression by increasing brain activity
The nutrients in chocolate promote brain health and may help stimulate the brain. The caffeine in chocolate can increase alertness and improve focus. Theobromine, another chemical in chocolate, has been shown to increase alertness and improve focus in people with ADHD.
Chocolate is an excellent food choice. It can be eaten at any time of the day and shared with your friends and family. It can be used to sweeten coffee, cider, and stews. It can be eaten plain or with milk, ice cream, and cookies. It can be added to baked goods to give them a rich flavor. It can even be added to savory foods such as stews and salads. Whether you’re looking for a snack, a sweet treat, a treat for the whole family, or something to help you lose weight, there’s a chocolate recipe for you.
Now it’s your turn. Get out your kitchen and start experimenting. The options are only limited to your imagination. So, go ahead. Break the rules. And, most importantly, have fun doing it!