Cocoa beans grown on cacao trees are used to make chocolate. One cacao tree can produce 20-30 cocoa pods per annum, each one containing around 40 cocoa beans. To produce five bars of dark chocolate, it takes one year of yield from a single cacao tree.
What makes dark chocolate good for you?
Researchers and health professionals consider dark chocolate and cocoa to be healthy, especially when compared with other chocolates. Flavanols are plant-derived nutrients found in cocoa beans. Cocoa has high levels of flavanols. These flavanols are unique phytonutrients with distinct benefits for the body. There are different types of dark chocolate brands available in the market.
Information about dark chocolate
Flavonoids and antioxidants found in it can help reduce inflammation and protect cells against oxidative damage. These can prevent the development and progression of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases. They also help to treat Alzheimer's disease. Pure dark chocolate must contain at least 70% cacao to reap these health benefits. A daily intake of dark chocolate should not exceed 30-40 grams.
What makes Dark Chocolate so different from other chocolates?
This chocolate is made in a slightly different way to the rest. Although the ingredients are the same as the other varieties, namely cocoa liquor and milk powder, the amounts may differ. Dark chocolate generally contains a higher percentage Cocoa content, which can be anywhere between 30 to 85%. This is what makes Dark Chocolate bittersweet.
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Dark chocolate has many health benefits
Dark chocolate is rich in organic compounds that act as antioxidants. To test for antioxidant activity in foods, researchers can simply set bad molecules against a sample to see if the antioxidants can "disarm". Dark chocolates, which is made from unprocessed cocoa beans, ranks among the top-scoring foods. Some studies have shown that dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than other fruits like blueberries and super foods acai berries.
2. Improves brain function
Try dark chocolate if you have trouble staying focused. Research has shown that dark chocolate can increase blood flow to the brain and even improve verbal fluency. Research shows that this "brain boost", which lasts for about two to three hours, is a great boost before any test or presentation.
3. Increases blood flow and lowers pressure
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which have many benefits for the body. One of their greatest benefits is the stimulation of the linings of the arteries to make nitric oxygen. Your arteries will relax and produce nitric oxide, which reduces resistance to blood flow. This in turn lowers blood pressure.
4. Lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol
Although it does not provide immediate benefits, studies have shown that moderate amounts of dark chocolate can reduce low-density cholesterol (LDL), also known to be "bad" cholesterol, and increase high-density cholesterol (HDL), which has been considered "good" cholesterol. A seven-day consumption of dark chocolate can result in a slight drop in LDL cholesterol.
5. Lowers your risk of developing heart disease
Dark chocolate has compounds that prevent LDL from oxidation, which means that there is a lower chance of developing heart disease over the long-term. This is based on the consumption of 0.25 ounces of dark chocolate per day. A candy bar averages 43 grams.
6. Protects your skin
Flavanols found in dark chocolate can also help reduce sunburns by reflecting UV light. These naturally occurring compounds can also increase blood flow and skin density, and improve skin hydration. Some studies also showed that dark chocolate users have smoother skin.
7. Lower your body mass index
This one is for all the exercise junkies: A study found that a high intake of small amounts dark chocolate was linked to a lower body mass (BMI) in participants. The participants with lower BMI consumed dark chocolate on average twice per week