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Dark chocolates: Know its health benefits, nutrition and how much to eat

Dark chocolate is rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. The cocoa in dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may provide several health benefits.

Health Desk Written By: Health Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 08, 2023 18:23 IST
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Image Source : FREEPIK Health benefits of dark chocolates

Chocolate has been a popular treat since the Mayans enjoyed it to spice up their beverages back in 2000 B.C. We still value chocolate today, and now we have even more reasons to crave it in all its many forms, from chocolate drinks to chocolate flavoring to hard chocolate candies. Not only is it a popular tasty treat, but dark chocolate also has a wide range of health benefits.

To be considered dark chocolate must contain at least 50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, but it doesn’t contain milk, like in milk chocolate, except in trace amounts that may occur from cross-contamination during production. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids we will get and the most possible health benefits.

Health benefits of dark chocolate


1. Good for heart health

Regularly eating dark chocolate may help reduce a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease. Some of the compounds in dark chocolate, specifically flavanols, affect two major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

2. Provides antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds in some foods that can help prevent damage to the cells in your body. Polyphenols, the cocoa bean’s natural defense chemicals, are a type of antioxidant. Some polyphenols are lost during the production process. Still, some cocoa powders have more antioxidants than so-called super fruits like acai, blueberries, and pomegranates, as well as teas and red wines.

3. Treats depression

Other than the pleasure associated with eating it, dark chocolate is also linked to lowering the risk of depression. It is observed that consuming 24 grams or less of Dark Chocolate per day can have antidepressant effects on people. This can relieve one from depression, with its combined presence of flavonoids (known to improve mood), theobromine (delivers energy), N-acyl ethanolamines (fatty acid that has euphoric effect) and Phenylethylamine (triggers dopamine).

4. Works against diabetes

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which is a naturally occurring compounds having antioxidant properties that improve insulin resistance. This, in turn, may help in controlling blood sugar in people having Type 2 diabetes. 

5. Aids weight loss

Eating dark chocolate in moderate amounts can help in the weight loss process. It has monounsaturated fatty acids that improve metabolism and rapidly burn calories. Also, dark chocolate curbs cravings if eaten 20 minutes before a meal. Interestingly, the magnesium and antioxidants in dark chocolate relieve pain and thus encourage one to workout. This can be an added advantage for people struggling to lose weight. 

Nutrients per Serving

A 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate, between 70% to 85% cacao solids, contains: Calories: 170, Protein: 2 grams, Fat: 12 grams, Carbohydrates: 13 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Sugar: 7 grams 

How much to eat

An ounce or two per day is more than enough to get the health benefits of dark chocolate. Eat more than that, and you'll risk the negative effects of weight gain from the fats and calories.

(Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any regime or medical advice.)


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