(CMR) It's Valentine's Day, and some of you may be getting chocolates or showing love with lots of chocolates today. We have great news for you, chocolates have several health benefits for you, but not just any chocolate- dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is made from cocoa which has proven to have numerous health benefits, especially being protective against heart disease.
This does not mean you should go all out and consume lots of chocolate, as it is still loaded with calories.
Healthline suggests having a square or two after dinner. If you want the benefits of cocoa without the calories in chocolate, consider making a hot cocoa without any cream or sugar.
Here are some benefits of dark chocolate:
1- Dark Chocolate is very nutritious. Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and a few other minerals.
2- Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants. In fact, they have way more than most other foods.
3- The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
4- Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. It can reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Dark chocolate lowers the susceptibility of LDL (bad cholesterol) to oxidative damage while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and improving insulin sensitivity.
5-Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk among those who consume the most chocolate.
6- Studies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it from sun damage.
7- Cocoa or dark chocolate may improve brain function by increasing blood flow. It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine.