Dark Chocolate? Healthy?

 How could chocolate be good for you? Well, when consumed in small amounts, dark chocolate has some pretty neat health benefits. It's important to only enjoy in small amounts to be sure you're not consuming too much sugar. 

   One health benefit of dark chocolate is it's powerful source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate is full of polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. These plant based micronutrients help to protect the body's cells from free radical damage and may even help fight disease. Free radicals are unstable molecules usually formed by normal metabolic processes that can cause damage to our cells. Dark chocolate may have even more antioxidant activity against free radicals than some fruits like acaî berries and blueberries. 

   Dark chocolate can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The flavanols it contains help to stimulate the endothelium, artery lining, to produce nitric oxide. This signals the arteries to relax, thus improving blood pressure. 

   Improved brain function is another benefit from eating dark chocolate. Flavanoids in dark chocolate help blood to flow to the brain. These compounds aid in boosting memory, reaction time, and problem solving skills. It's also a no-brainer that consuming dark chocolate can make you happier. It boosts endorphin production, the feel good hormones that make us feel happy and reduce stress. Dark chocolate contains also  phenylethylamine (love drug) and tryptophan (neurotransmitter of positive moods) which explains the euphoric sensation one gets from eating chocolate. 

   I hope this article makes you feel less shameful about the chocolate urges. Just be sure to consume in moderation and always brush those teeth afterwards! You can also get Cacao Powder, which is super healthy, to add to coffee and smoothies! 

 (Photo courtesy of Yada Awakening)

 **This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or disease. Also, seek the professional advice of a licensed medical professional before taking any advice listed here. 

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