Yummy News, Articles & Videos
Want to keep updated on the latest news of delicious meat-free meals and adorable animals? Check out this section for interesting daily happenings and articles that will melt your tummy (and heart too).

You can also follow our Facebook Page or Twitter for more news and updates.
7 Great Reasons To Love Dark Chocolate
by KindMeal.my, 31 July 2014
7 Great Reasons To Love Dark Chocolate

Rejoice, dark chocolate lovers! Here are some great, irresistible reasons on why you should love it even more.

1) Dark Chocolate Is Very Nutritious

Quality dark chocolate is packed with a wide range of healthy nutrients our body needs to function properly. It contains fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus.

Its fats consist out of easily digestible saturated and monounsaturated fats and only small amounts of unstable polyunsaturated fats.

Although 100 grams or 3.5 ounce of dark chocolate packs your daily dose of most of the above mentioned nutrients, it also comes with 600 calories and a small amount of sugar. So moderation is key to reap its benefits!

2. Improve Cardiovascular Health

It is quite amazing how chocolate can improve your heart health on several levels.

Reduce blood pressure: flavanols, magnesium, and copper in dark chocolate can improve blood flow, make blood vessels more flexible, and help to regulate blood pressure and heartbeat.

Lowers cholesterol: studies show that dark chocolate can reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol levels up to 10-12%. Oxidized cholesterol means that it has reacted with free radicals to form highly reactive and damaging molecules. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals.

Overall heart health: not only will dark chocolate help you to reduce bad cholesterol and improve blood pressure, it also can reduce inflammation of cardiovascular tissue. Studies show that cacao or dark chocolate can reduce the risk of cardiovascular deaths by a whopping 50% and calcified plaques by 32% if consumed at least twice a week.

Although most studies look very promising, there is still more research needed in this field.

3. Antioxidant Powerhouse

Raw unprocessed cacao beans are amongst the most antioxidant-rich foods on earth according to the ORAC measuring. Dark chocolate is loaded with polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and many more biologically active compounds that act as powerful antioxidants to protect your body against highly reactive free radicals.

Free radicals have been linked to DNA damage and diseases like Alzheimer’s, premature aging, UV-skin damage, heart diseases, and cancer.

4. Boost Your Mood, Reduce Stress, And Cure Depression

Eating dark chocolate raises the levels of feel good-hormones (endorphin and serotonin) that lift our spirit, boost our mood, and promote a sense of well-being. In addition to raising our happy hormones, chocolate also contains theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to caffeine.

5. Block Feelings Of Pain

Chocolate contains anandamide, a neurotransmitter known to block feelings of pain and like mentioned above it also raises calming and pain relieving endorphins.

6. Boost Brain Function

Chocolate's flavanols improve the blood flow to our brain and its caffeine-like compound helps to create more focus and improve short-term memory.

7. Lower Insulin Resistance

The flavonoids help your body to use insulin more efficiently. It also has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t spike blood sugar levels as much as your regular candy bar or other sweet sugary treats.

Cocoa vs Cacao, What’s The difference?

Raw cacao or raw chocolate is made through cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. During this process the fat is removed and it keeps living enzymes and other phytonutrients intact.

Cocoa or cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made through roasting raw cacao beans at high temperatures. This process, unfortunately, lowers the overall nutrient value and destroys most of the beneficial enzymes.

Take Home Message

Raw cacao is best as it still contains all its nutrients. Always opt for high quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao.

And remember, although dark chocolate contains so much wonderful benefits, due to its high calorie content and moderate amounts of sugar you should eat it in moderation to avoid adverse effects on your health.

Research shows that dairy inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from raw cacao. So if you make a shake or dessert with raw cacao or chocolate you’re better off using dairy-free milk substitutes like coconut, hazelnut or almond milk to get all the benefits of world’s antioxidant richest food source.

Source: http://bit.ly/1o3ZRZ0 « Back To Articles