The origin of the word chocolate can be traced to the Aztec word “xocoatl” which referred to a bitter drink made from cacao beans. Cacao beans, the basis for chocolate, literally mean “food for Gods” in Latin. Aren’t chocolates just that? Read on to see how heavenly dark chocolates have reasons to become more irresistible.
Dark chocolate is made of roasted cacao beans, generally with over 70% cacao content, fat, and sugar. Dark chocolate has nutrients like soluble fiber, potassium, manganese, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium and iron, besides being loaded with anti-oxidants, making it beneficial to health.
Here are some health benefits of dark chocolate as shown by several studies:
- It can be a great mood enhancer. The serotonin found in dark chocolate acts as a natural anti-depressant, while the magnesium helps fight stress, fatigue, depression and irritability.
- It contains flavonol which can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Flavonol, a flavonoid which is a compound that acts as anti-oxidant, can reduce blood pressure and LDL (bad cholesterol) thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- It can be good for the brain. It contains phenylethylamine that encourages the brain to release endorphins which helps relieve stress and enhance pleasure. Also, the flavanol increases blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and short-term memory.
- It can help protect your skin. The flavanols present can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
- It is rich in fiber making you feel fuller for a longer time. It lessens your cravings for fatty, sweet or salty foods.
- It contains theobromine which has a feel-good effect and aids in cough relief
While dark chocolate does have a bevy of benefits, it is also loaded with calories. As with all good things is life, moderation is recommended when it comes to fabulous dark chocolate as well.