Dark Chocolate – The Candy Temptation You Can Give Into

Nutrition Steward Health Care

Food trends come and go but the positive health benefits of dark chocolate are reaffirmed year after year. Substituting other sweets for a bit of dark chocolate can satisfy your cravings and, as an added bonus, keep you healthier as long as it’s eaten in moderation. Dark chocolate has been proven to:

1. Lower blood pressure

A 2015 research study found that healthy, active adults who ate dark chocolate in moderation had lower blood pressure than those who did not. Doctors involved in the study advise that regular intake of dark chocolate must be accompanied by a “comprehensive lifestyle plan” for high blood pressure sufferers which should include regular exercise and healthy eating.

2. Improve brain function

Dark chocolate with high levels of flavonoid compounds may benefit brain function. Flavonoids are a class of plant nutrients found in cocoa beans proven to have anti- inflammatory and antioxidant effects. A 2017 study found that short and long term consumption of cocoa products seems to and may improve memory, brain blood flow, oxygen l levels and nerve function.

3. Keep your heart healthy

A Journal of the American College Study of Nutrition study found that dark chocolate consumption is associated with improved blood vessel function, thus improving blood flow and keeping your heart healthy. Like dark chocolate’s effects on brain function, it’s the flavonoid compounds in the candy that seem to affect healthy blood flow through arteries and other blood vessels.

4. Make you feel good

Chocolate is regularly considered an aphrodisiac and dark chocolate has the added benefit of being healthier than other types of chocolate. Cocoa beans contain the stimulant phenylethylamine, sometimes called ‘the love drug,’ because it makes you feel happy and excited.

There are number of healthy health outcomes associated with treating yourself to a little dark chocolate this Valentine’s Day. Just remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look for low sugar, high cocoa dark chocolate bars to get the most benefit for your buck.

*Source: www.health.harvard.edu

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