News / South Africa / Health

South Coast Herald
1 minute read
4 Nov 2019
11:56 am

Seven health benefits of eating dark chocolate

South Coast Herald

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.

Dark chocolate. Picture: iStock

Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary ones), eaten in moderation, can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Here’s the lowdown:

1. Dark chocolate is nutritious and is loaded with minerals including iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

2. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested.

Picture: iStock

3. Dark chocolate may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

4. Dark chocolate raises HDL and protects LDL cholesterol against oxidation.

5. Dark chocolate may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Dark chocolate may protect your skin against the sun. The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.

Picture: iStock

7. Dark chocolate may improve brain function.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go all out and guzzle loads of chocolate every day.

Maybe have a square or two after dinner. Savour them.

Dark chocolates often contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.

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