Dark chocolate is not only tasty but also one of the most nutritious foods that one can consume. Dark chocolate antioxidants are essential as they work towards protecting our cells and preventing the exertion of oxidative damage upon the other tissues in our body. These dark chocolate antioxidants potentially prevent the formation of any unstable molecules which could later affect the cells in your body.
Dark chocolate antioxidants, when consumed right, are one of the quickest ways to make your body generate and adapt an immune system shield that protects you from the process of ageing. One of the common benefits of dark chocolate antioxidants is that they can help you ensure the proper circulation of the heart, and boost the processing of the brain.
Let us understand more about dark chocolate antioxidants and how they can be beneficial for our body
Dark Chocolate Nutrition
Apart from being one of the most potent sources of antioxidants, dark chocolate also houses a variety of other nutrients that can be beneficial in the optimal functioning of the body. A single 100 gram serving of dark chocolate can give you the following levels of nutrition.
- 58% of the Recommended Daily Intake for magnesium
- 89% of the Recommended Daily Intake for copper
- 98% of the Recommended Daily Intake for manganese
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the Recommended Daily Intake for iron
Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate Antioxidants
The potency of dark chocolate antioxidants is measured by its radical absorbance capacity. It is used to measure the accurate antioxidant activity of several foods. This helps in determining the effectiveness of antioxidants in dismantling the presence of free radicals in our bodies.
Antioxidant in dark chocolate is based on natural organic compounds that are biologically active and functioning. Examples of such antioxidants include catechins, flavonols, and polyphenols.
Given below are some of the benefits of consuming antioxidants in dark chocolate:
- Regulates Blood Pressure: Having a high blood pressure level can be dangerous as it can lead to complications such as obesity and heart disease. The antioxidant in dark chocolate can be useful in reducing elevated levels of blood pressure and has been said to be useful in dealing with cardiovascular complications as well.
- Controls Cholesterol Levels: Regular supplementation of antioxidant dark chocolate was shown to have a promising effect on regulating the cholesterol levels of the body. The cocoa content of dark chocolate was especially beneficial for reducing the oxidized LDL cholesterol. Antioxidant dark chocolate also helped in boosting HDL (also known as good cholesterol) for those suffering from high cholesterol.
- Helps With Mental Disorders: Antioxidant dark chocolate is one of the most common ‘comfort foods’ and has a major role to play in fighting depression and anxiety. The flavanols present in chocolate are high in antioxidants which help in regulating brain function. People diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression and anxiety reported that the regular supplementation of chocolate antioxidants caused a significant decrease in the body’s release of stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines within a period of two weeks.
- Rich Source Of Iron: Other than being delicious, dark chocolate is also very nutritious and packs about 3.4 grams of iron per serving, and is also a rich source of copper, magnesium, and potassium. Chocolate antioxidants are beneficial for regulating gut health and preventing complications such as constipation. In moderation, chocolate consumption is useful for reducing the risk of heart attacks and cholesterol levels.
- Prevents Tooth Decay: Chocolate antioxidants react with another natural compound found in chocolate known as theobromine which is useful for preventing the formation of tooth decay. It eliminates the presence of streptococcus mutants, a bacteria found within the oral cavity that is responsible for eliminating tooth decay.
- Rich Source Of Multivitamins: Dark chocolate antioxidants are an excellent way to sneak in some nutrition into your mundane daily food intake. Chocolates are rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, along with antioxidants such as anthocyanins which are beneficial for boosting your immunity and aiding the elimination of free radicals.
- High in Magnesium: The cacao nut is one of the most prominent sources of magnesium. Dark chocolate and antioxidants, combined with the properties of magnesium, are useful in maintaining the digestive system. They also help in maintaining the functioning of the heart. Consuming a cacao rich diet can actually be beneficial in bridging the nutritional gap that a lot of people experience.
- Improves Brain Function: One of the benefits of dark chocolate and antioxidants is that they can significantly increase the functioning of your brain. Not only does chocolate contain compounds such as magnesium which help put your brain in a state of mind, it is also a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Nutrients such as omega 3 combined with the antioxidant properties of chocolate are useful in reducing the oxidative stress exerted on the brain. They also improve the circulation of blood and the flow of oxygen within the brain which is useful for slowing down the process of aging within our brain.
Additionally, dark chocolate and antioxidants have also been shown to reverse the symptoms of mild brain damage and improve logical processing. Prolonged supplementation was found to reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
While dark chocolate antioxidants are one of the most potent sources of nutrition and are indeed useful in combating heart disease, they are also rich in other sources such as sugars and carbs,
This can be detrimental to your body when consumed in excess and you may end up experiencing symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, mood swings, or even sugar rush. Instead, you can try including a few dark chocolate antioxidants in your daily diet by eating little pieces along with your meals.
The best way to avail of the benefits of dark chocolate antioxidants would be to consume them in combination with a healthy balanced diet and a fixed exercise regimen to avoid any unwanted side effects.