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Dark Chocolate - The Healthier Side

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Some people think that a healthy diet often includes labeling certain food groups as being unhealthy. Take into consideration fats which have an important role in body providing energy and keeping our cells healthy. Another type of food which has been receiving negative reviews is chocolate. But chocolate has its fair share of positive benefits.

Why should we deprive ourselves of life's simple pleasures? Our food cravings after all are sublime messages that tell us that our body needs something. So the next time you feel that you're craving for a chocolate bar, why not take dark chocolate. It definitely is the healthier alternative.

Dark Chocolate for a Healthier Heart

A huge part why people often discourage eating chocolate has to deal with high fat content. But not all fats are considered as unhealthy. Dark chocolate in particular contains saturated and monounsaturated fats which is healthier. Saturated fats are made of stearic acid that can lower a person's cholesterol levels and reducing unhealthy fats.

Dark chocolate also contain powerful anti-oxidants and flavonoids that can unclog veins and arteries. Medical studies have proven that dark chocolate can lower the risk for heart attacks and stroke by as much as forty percent.  This however, should not be taken as a license to indulge carelessly on dark chocolate. It still contains a healthy amount of butter, milk and sugar which are rich fat sources.

Lessen your Cravings

Eating dark chocolate can do wonders for your weight. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate could actually decrease your sweet food cravings. It helps satiate your sweet tooth and helps you resist reaching out for more sweets. Dark chocolate helps relieve the stress of sweet cravings making it easier for you to stick to your diet.

Helps You Release Stress

Dark chocolate triggers the release of feel good hormones which is the body's natural way of dealing with stress. And if you want to release your feel good hormones naturally then eating dark chocolate can be a healthy way of doing so. This is one of the reasons why highly stressed people often end up with food cravings. Eating is a natural way of satisfying our body and restoring our relaxed state. Stress could be taxing both on our minds and body, dark chocolate can be a way of replenishing our exhausted energy stores.

Managing Diabetes

Here's an interesting fact about dark chocolate. Chocolates that help people with diabetes could be something that can raise a few eyebrows or two. Dark chocolates contain flavonoids that are essential in the production of nitric oxide. Dark chocolate can help in controlling insulin sensitivity. Some medical studies have even shown that people who regularly ate dark chocolate lessened their risk for developing diabetes.

Helps Protect your Skin

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which can protect your skin from sun damage. Medical research show that people who regularly ate dark chocolate are twice longer to develop skin redness after exposing themselves to the sun.

Brain Food

The brain consumes large amounts of energy. And sugars are the richest and fastest sources of energy for the brain. Dark chocolate is not merely an energy source but also enhances the flow of blood into the brain. It is able to improve blood flow for 2 to 3 hours. Some studies have also shown that people who ate dark chocolate regularly have higher cognitive scores.

If you're searching for a healthier way to satisfy your sweet cravings then dark chocolate could a healthy answer. But even the health benefits of dark chocolate could be put to waste when too much is taken. Eating a healthy diet means taking it moderately. Too much of a good thing can have negative effects on your health. Eat dark chocolates moderately and stay within recommended dietary limits.

Image: By jules (chocolate-2) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons