Dark chocolate is traditionally labelled as the “healthiest” of chocolate types, with white chocolate often considered the worst due to traditionally high fat and sugar levels. High cocoa dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health, backed up with numerous research studies. But what makes dark chocolate, healthy?
We are advised to consume certain levels of nutrients per day, often referred to as your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI).
A 100g bar of 70-85% dark chocolate contains:
It also contains Potassium, Phosphorous, Zinc and Selenium!
But be aware, 100g of dark chocolate can contain up to 600 calories and should probably not be consumed in one sitting!)
Raw unprocessed cocoa has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food tested, however, some are lost in the manufacturing process of turning cocoa into chocolate. Even so, levels are still on average higher than most foodstuffs, including Blueberries and Acai berries.
Flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of the arteries to produce Nitric Oxide. This can cause arteries to relax, lowering blood pressure and blood flow resistance. The effects are usually mild, however.
Dark chocolate contains compounds that are very protective against the oxidisation of LDL, meaning less cholesterol to clog arteries reducing the risk of heart disease.
According to studies, dark chocolate could improve the function of your brain. High concentrations of flavanol in cocoa improves blood flow to the brain. It is also supposed to improve cognitive function in elderly people.
But do consider, it is best to limit daily consumption to 30 grams of 70-85% dark chocolate per day.
If you’re concerned about any of the issues raised in this article, speak to an Online Doctor today from The GP Service. Our Doctors are registered professionals who will provide expert advice on the next steps to take.