With Valentine day round the corner, the air is filled with romance and everything romantic a special season to shower gifts on your loved ones to show them how much you care! From roses, trinkets, candlelights and whatnot we think of so many. Although there are plenty of options available in the stores chocolates have become an integral part of most important gifts. This is because these yummilcious varieties symbolize love and is often described as a love drug due to their ability to induce a feeling of being in love. Although it is the usual trend to give milk, or white chocolates, many do not opt for dark chocolates. According to recent research, dark chocolate taken in moderation, offers incredible health benefits owing to their high antioxidants levels a good enough reason to consider this choice for a gift.
Dark chocolates consists of nutritive substances like essential vitamins A, B1, C, D, E, including minerals like Magnesium, Potassium Copper, Iron and calcium. They also contain polyphenols antioxidant substances by way of procyanidins and epicatechins that are five times more than an apple, which helps avert various ailments.
A Great Pack of Taste and Good Health
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids compounds that enact the role of antioxidants to perfection. Flavonoids protect cells from harmful free radicals, one of the precursors of serious medical conditions and premature ageing.
Fights Cancer Cells
Dark Chocolate, consisting of high amounts of antioxidant substances, offer cell protection, by deactivating certain proteins in the body. This factor helps inhibit the growth and division of cancer cells in the body, protecting cell damage.
Sustains Cardiac Health
The antioxidants in dark chocolate promote cardiac health by lowering blood pressure levels, thus averting the risk of stroke. Due to their anticoagulant properties, they stimulate smooth blood flow in the arteries and veins thereby reducing risk of blood clots. Unlike other saturated fats, Stearic acid, a saturated fat that exists in dark chocolate does not boost cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the presence of a monounsaturated fatty acid, in dark chocolate helps reduce cholesterol levels considerably. The flavonoids helps stabilise blood sugar levels by helping the body utilise insulin with increase in production of nitric oxide and controlling insulin sensitivity.
Enhances Digestive Health
With sufficient amounts of fibre, dark chocolate provides a feeling of satiety promoting digestion and regulating the bowels.
Improves Cognitive Ability
According to Research, regular intake of dark chocolate is associated with improved cognitive function in the elderly, owing to the high flavonol substances that regulate blood flow to the crucial parts of the brain.
Enables Weight Loss
Since dark chocolates provide a feeling of fullness, they prevent frequent cravings for unhealthy snacking. Therefore, having a hot cup of cocoa or including a minimal amount of dark chocolate in the diet helps reduce appetite and enables weight loss.
Dark Chocolate, containing a crucial substance known as phenylethylamine (PEA), helps boost mood by improving the levels of endorphins in the brain. The serotonin chemicals in the brain decreases stress hormones, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Anti Ageing Properties
The antioxidants present in dark chocolate offer anti ageing benefits by safeguarding the skin from formation of fine lines and wrinkles. It improves the elasticity of skin and helps cell rejuvenation.
How to Choose the Best Dark Chocolate
Despite these benefits, it is imperative to choose chocolates with dark hues as dark pigmentation indicates higher antioxidant levels and benefits. Look at the packaging and choose chocolates with a minimum of 70% pure cocoa. Avoid those with milk fats, coconut, palm oils, ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ oils as they have a tendency to raise cholesterol levels. Since dark chocolates contain loads of calories and fat, eat only in moderation to avoid problems.
Eat healthy and live longer!
Happy Valentines Day!