Did you know that dark chocolate is actually very nutritious as it contains high concentrations of minerals, vitamins, fiber and even antioxidants? That’s not false advertisement as dark chocolate provides potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Plus, an average size, high quality dark chocolate bar contains 11 grams of soluble fiber and a variety of powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. With so many nutrients, it makes sense this delicious product can be good for you. So, we present you 3 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate.
1. Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Consumption of dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease as the high amounts of copper and potassium may help reduce risk of stroke and cardiovascular ailments. Additionally, the compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL, which may result in much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, lowering the risk of heart disease over the long term. Research suggests that cocoa consumption may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%.
2. Cholesterol Support
Consuming dark chocolate may help regulate cholesterol levels. Cocoa powder is known to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol as well as increase HDL in men with elevated cholesterol. Dark chocolate normally contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants that do make it into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage.
3. Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate three times a week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate can also help improve blood flow, reduce the formation of blood clots, and prevent arteriosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), which can send signals to the arteries to relax. This process may lower resistance to blood flow and therefore reduce blood pressure.
This article originally appeared on Lucky Blog and is republished here with permission.