19 Dec Benefits of Chocolate
Ever since I was a kid, chocolate has always been my kryptonite. That’s why when I discovered that dark chocolate actually leaves us to be the healthiest and happiest version of ourselves, I was given the assurance I needed to make our infamous Dark Chocolate Better Bars. Other than them tasting like a candy bar and hitting those notes of nostalgia (minus the guilt)– what makes them so good for you? So glad you asked– the reasons are bountiful.
For starters, they have a considerable amount of nutrients that you would never expect. Just to name a few:
- Iron– A major component of hemoglobin which is a type of protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body.
- Magnesium– A mineral that plays an important role in assisting more than 300 enzymes to carry out various chemical reactions in the body such as building proteins and strong bones, and regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and muscle and nerve functions.
- Copper– Your body uses copper to carry out many important functions, including making energy, connective tissues, and blood vessels.
- Manganese– An essential mineral involved in amino acid, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrate metabolism; reactive oxygen species scavenging; bone formation; reproduction; and immune response
- Zinc– A major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue, and supporting a healthy immune system.
- Calcium– A mineral most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, however it also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve functions.
All of these nutrients are absolutely essential in helping our bodies function optimally. Even when we do our best to have a balanced diet, the truth is we often can miss vital vitamins which then contribute to us lacking the necessary nourishment for us to thrive. Though dark chocolate isn’t a fix–for–all, it’s good to know that we can satisfy our sweet tooth along with making up for the missing vitamins we may have missed in our meals throughout the day.
Heart, Gut and Brain Health
It should come as no surprise that with all of these nutrients, it’s also believed by researchers that dark chocolate can support heart health and blood pressure. Flavanols, a natural compound found in cocoa, are known to improve blood vessel function and even lower risk of heart disease without preexisting health conditions. The flavonoids can also stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries to produce Nitric Oxide. One of the main functions of Nitric Oxide is to tell the arteries to relax, which lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.
TLDR; dark chocolate can literally make your arteries chill out from working too hard.
Flavanols, this surprisingly magical compound, can also improve oxygen levels which in turn can help improve your attention, verbal learning, and memory with younger adults. It’s also to be believed that it can help maintain cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and reduce the chance of progressing to dementia.
While you can find flavanols in many different foods alongside chocolate, studies suggest that dark chocolate can fit within a healthy diet all while tasting as amazing as it does. A true win win.
I think it’s safe to say that we all know that chocolate can boost moods. I mean why else would we all love it so much? But the reason chocolate is known to boost moods is that it can stimulate the release of endorphins. The compounds found in cocoa are involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood.
Both the flavanols and methylxanthines are believed to play a role in chocolate’s mood-enhancing effects. It’s believed that dark chocolate contains psychoactive ingredients that produce feel-good results; one in particular is phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that’s purpose is to help regulate mood! Additionally, dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of antioxidants that reduce inflammation, a condition linked to the onset of depression. So next time you’re feeling down, don’t be afraid to try eating dark chocolate (or a Chocolate Better Bar 😉) because it can be exactly what you need to perk you up.
The benefits of dark chocolate are so abundant that it provides me and my family the solace to indulge regularly, all while knowing our bodies and our minds are more than taken care of. When first creating the Chocolate Better Bar, my goal was to not only invite your taste buds to go on an irresistible journey, but to give you a tasty option that encourages health, sustainability, and happiness. Though I’ll forever be on a journey to learn and grow, I feel confident that I’ve created a product I’m proud will do just that.
CEO & Founder of The Better Bar