Greg weaver, Staff Writer
Not many people would need hard evidence to make them eat chocolate, but here are some health benefits that will make them feel less guilty when eating that chocolate bar. What better way to spend National Chocolate Day, October 28?
1. Chocolate is a powerful source of Antioxidants
According to Authority Nutrition, dark chocolate has a large quantity of antioxidants. "Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols [and] catechins, among others."
What does this mean? It shows that chocolate, or cocoa beans, have a wide variety of antioxidants, a lot more than other foods.
2. Chocolate may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
Dark chocolate acts as a stimulus to produce Nitric Oxide (NO). According to Authority Nutrition, "One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure." .
Harvard ran a study involving 1,106 people and found that chocolate, the kind that contains at least 50 to 70 percent cocoa, lowered blood pressure.
3. Dark Chocolate May Lower The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
According to HealthDay, "Dark chocolate may lower your risk of heart disease by lowering levels of blood glucose and bad cholesterol while boosting levels of good cholesterol."
"Chocolate and it's main ingredient, cocoa, reduces the risk of factors for heart disease. Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease," said Daniel Horn, health science major.
4. Chocolate contains different key nutritions
Not all types of chocolate are nutritious. The key is looking at the amount of cocoa in the chocolate. The higher the cocoa count, the more nutrients it will contain.
According to Authority Nutrition, a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85 percent cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber.
- 67% of the RDA for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
For all the chocolate lovers ready to grab the nearest chocolate bar, remember that not all chocolate is good for you. Dark chocolate tends to be more healthy than the alternative milk chocolate. Make sure your chocolate, whether it is milk or dark chocolate, has a high cocoa content; that is the healthy stuff.