Almost everyone loves chocolate, right? Our guilty pleasure chocolate is not as guilty as we think provided we take it in its pure raw and dark form. The more natural and dark it is, the more health benefits we can get by consuming it on a regular basis. The key ingredients of chocolate which are cocoa and cocoa butter can boost our health in numerous ways. Here are some of its main benefits:
Offers antioxidant action. Cocoa nibs are rich in antioxidant nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, K and magnesium that help our systems fight free radicals and oxidation which leads to stress and disease. As we age and grow older, this ability to fight oxidative stress starts to decline and it shows both in our internal organs and outside appearance. Thus, if we make it a habit and consume antioxidant-rich foods like dark raw chocolate or tea in our diet we can help slow down this stressing and ageing process.
Makes a good source of plant iron. Dark chocolate that consists of 70% or more cocoa is a great source of plant iron for vegans. In fact, a 100gr bar of dark chocolate contains 67% of the daily intake or iron we should consume daily from our diet. The Vitamin C it contains as well also help with Iron absorption so if you are vegetarian, this is a good iron source.
Boosts heart health and healthy circulation. Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols which are micronutrients that help regulate blood cholesterol, blood pressure and prevent heart disorders. Studies have also shown that the flavons contained in dark chocolate can help loosen up hard blood platelets which support healthy blood regulation. By eating or drinking dark chocolate daily, you will help prevent any heart problems and effects that may show up in as little as three weeks.
Helps prevent cancer. Some studies have examined the role of dark chocolate in preventing cancer and the results were very promising. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which are known antioxidants with good cancer-fighting properties. In general, a diet rich in flavonoids is ideal for preventing cancer and consuming dark chocolate along with other superfoods on a regular basis helps amplify the effects.
Boosts brain function. Although not widely known, the nutrients contained in dark chocolate called “flavanols” have been found to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation and oxidative damage in the brain while at the same time helping to improve blood supply in the brain and central nervous system. Furthermore, pure chocolate triggers the production of endorphins which encourage a more positive mood and help fight off stress and mild depression. It’s no wonder why chocolate is so addicting - it really triggers our pleasure parts of the brain so we instantly feel better.
If you don’t feel like taking it in its conventional bar form for its calories or any other reason, drinking a cup of cocoa alone of with some vegetable milk is a great alternative to reap the benefits of cocoa. If you want to amp up its antioxidant action and enhance its health-boosting effects, you can also add one of our tea ranges.
Are you a chocolate fan as well? If you have a healthy chocolate drink or dessert recipe to share, tell us in the comments down below.