dark chocolate benefits Metropolis Healthcare

Love the intense taste of dark chocolate but worried about the overconsumption? Or, think you can eat as much as you want but not gain a single inch? While dark chocolate has a huge fan following, many people have a lot of questions about them. Today we are answering some of the most frequent questions about dark chocolate. Here you go:

Question: Is dark chocolate good for weight loss?

Dark chocolate can play some role in weight loss, though it is not considered to be an effective weight-loss measure when used alone.

Improves insulin sensitivity: Some research suggests that dark chocolate could help improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin, the hormone responsible for transferring sugar from your blood into your cells where it can be used for energy. Dark chocolate has polyphenols which help insulin being better available to the body cells. This may be associated with less glucose storage and weight loss.

Decreases hunger: Some studies show that dark chocolate may reduce cravings and promote feelings of fullness, which may help in weight loss. A study has also found that the effects of milk chocolate and dark chocolate and found that participants felt less hungry and fuller and more satisfied after eating dark chocolate.

Question: Can dark chocolate boost mood?

Several studies have found that dark chocolate may positively affect our mental health and mood, which can ensure that we feel our very best. A happy mood is associated with measures to promote self-care. According to one study, those who consumed higher amounts of dark chocolate had 57% lower odds of experiencing depressive symptoms than those who did not regularly consume dark chocolate. Your physical health is a pivotal factor to control your mental health. Think you are feeling burnout or fatigue more often than before? Get a health checkup done and look for yourself if there is anything that you can fix physically to stay calm mentally.

Question: Is dark chocolate actually healthy?

Let’s try to understand that how dark chocolate is healthy.

Loaded with a lot of nutrients– if we buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious. It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals. Dark chocolate can contain the following nutrients 

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% of the RDI for iron
  • 58% of the RDI for magnesium
  • 89% of the RDI for copper.
  • 98% of the RDI for manganese

In addition, it also has potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

(The constituents and amounts might vary among different products available in the market.)

A powerful source of antioxidants: Dark chocolate is loaded with biologically active organic compounds that function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins, among others.

May reduce heart disease risk: The ingredients in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against heart health. It should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease. In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by a whopping 50% over a 15-year period. Yet another study showed that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times per week lowered the risk of heart disease by 57%. 

Improve the functioning of the nervous system: Cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why dark chocolate can improve brain function in the short term.  

Question: Can we eat dark chocolate every day?

You can eat some amounts of dark chocolate daily, however, a better thing is to restrict daily consumption if you have diabetes or obesity.

The daily recommended dosecan bearound 30-60 g, as per some sources. Indulging in anything more than that means you may be consuming too many calories. There isn’t a standard dose for dark chocolate that can be followed by everyone. A 40-45 g dark chocolate bar has approximately 190 calories plus some plant nutrients. In comparison, you take only around 95 calories and lots of nutrients if you eat a medium-sized apple. So, it is very clear that you should never replace healthy foods with dark chocolate.

Question: Can dark chocolate reduce period pain?

Many women like to eat chocolate during the periods. Now the question is whether dark chocolate reduces the period pain or just creates an overall sense of well-being? Dark chocolate has been seen to provide help to some women dealing with menstrual cramps. A study conducted by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013 found that consuming chocolate can help in improving our mood, making us feel calmer and more satisfied. Experts say its magnesium content can have a role in relaxing the muscles and easing period pain. In addition to that, it causes the brain to release endorphins, hormones that help you feel happier. Dark chocolate can be helpful during PMS too, owing to the same reasons of relieving stress and facilitating the release of happy hormones.

Question: Can diabetics eat dark chocolate?

You may eat some dark chocolate but moderation is the key. Overdoing has to be avoided.

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring compounds that have antioxidant properties. Polyphenols in dark chocolate improve insulin sensitivity, which may help in controlling blood sugar, according to research published in Endocrine Abstracts. However, you need to watch your calories to keep track of your blood sugar levels. Though dark chocolate is considered healthy, it still is calorie-dense as compared to other natural foods like fruits and green vegetables. This is why you should not assume that you can eat as much as dark chocolate you want if you are diabetic.

Question: Can you eat dark chocolate when pregnant?

Pregnancy demands extra care at each and every step. Having certain cravings during pregnancy is a normal thing, chocolate craving is experienced quite commonly. The good thing is you can enjoy dark chocolate in moderation throughout your pregnancy. The benefits are largely well-proven, including better blood pressure and improved blood flow to the baby. In fact, an older study had revealed that eating dark chocolate may cause sweeter temperaments in babies. Though it is generally safe to eat dark chocolate in pregnancy, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the constituents in the pack or dark chocolate. Also, discuss with your gynecologist what type of diet is best for you and the baby.

Question: Is dark chocolate good for the skin?

Consuming dark chocolate can impart beauty benefits to the skin. It has bioactive compounds and is rich in minerals which helps dark chocolate nourish our skin inside out.  Thanks to its antioxidants and flavonoids that prevent aging and might improve blood flow in the skin tissues.

Now, when you get your dark chocolate bar the next time, do keep these facts in mind. If you got more question about dark chocolate, let us know in the comments section.

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