3 Benefits of Dark Chocolate
With Valentine’s Day coming up, husbands/boyfriends/wives/girlfriends, are wondering what to shower their beloved with. The most common theme has always been to get decadent chocolates. After all, who would say no to that? Our Marietta Chiropractor, Dr. Milan Modi, explains the 3 key benefits behind dark chocolate below.
1. Improvement in Brain Function
There are many ways to improve your overall brain functions. Scientists and doctors alike will say exercise, meditation, or puzzles help improve cognition. But, what is it about chocolate that aids brain function?
Chocolates contain a certain amount of cocoa. You’ll often see the percentage written on the foil cover. Within cocoa, there is a chemical compound called – flavanol. Flavanol is a kind of alcohol (the suffix “-ol” refers to the structure as an alcohol). A high amount of flavanol can increase blood flow to the brain. In one study, a group of participants showed that eating a high-flavanol chocolate for 5 days increased their blood flow to the brain. As we know, blood flow is important regardless of where the blood is going. It is especially important to the brain since it: provides oxygen and nutrients, removes toxins and waste from the brain. Besides the high-flavanol percentage, cocoa also acts as a kind of stimulant. Similar to how coffee works, cocoa contains 2 other compounds: caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is an amino acid that can also help with brain function in the short term.
2. May Decrease Heart Disease
Medical doctors will always advise about heart disease. They will talk to you about your cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, VLDL, triglycerides), exercise, and diet. But, have they ever spoken to you about the benefits of dark chocolate? Dark chocolate may help against the oxidation of LDL. LDL, otherwise known as low-density lipoprotein, is known as the “bad” cholesterol. MD’s always advise to keep your LDL levels lower than your HDL levels (the good cholesterol). When LDL is oxidized, it may lead to blocking or obstructing the arteries in or around the heart. This process is often known as heart disease. The function of the heart begins to decrease, breathing and vital functions become increasingly difficult over time. In one study, scientists found that eating dark chocolate 2-3 times per week resulted in less clogged arteries. This study was done on 470 elderly men. Their chances of having a heart attack decreased by 50% over a 15 year test. There are still more clinical trials to be performed on this observation.
High quality chocolate is not as bad as you may think. In fact, dark chocolate can be very healthy for you if eaten in moderation. Take a look at the components of a 100 gram dark chocolate bar provided by Health Line below:
- 11 grams of dietary 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 conclusion, celebrate with dark chocolate this Valentine’s Day. While dark chocolate has a more bitter taste to it than white or milk chocolate, it is ultimately a healthier alternative. There are plenty of chocolate stores in Marietta, Georgia to fulfill your taste buds and show your appreciation for your loved one(s).
If you have any questions, feel free to write back to our Marietta Chiropractor, Dr. Milan Modi, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in a specific Chiropractic consultation, please fill out our short form here.