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People usually eat nutritious foods and salads to keep themselves fit and healthy. Most of us miss the basic pleasure of eating a normal chocolate, due to fear of extra calories and unwanted sugars. Your commitment to healthy life sometimes means you have to let go of sweets and chocolates. So what if there was a way to eat chocolate and still get benefits? We’re talking about Dark chocolates, which aren’t as bad as other milk based chocolates. Its rich antioxidants and nutrients lowers the risk of heart disease and can help you hit your target weight too!
8 Best Health and Beauty Benefits of Dark Chocolate
It’s a good news for chocolate lovers who determined to curb their cravings for creamy chocolates. Well it’s time for you to resume your cravings and go on a healthy free diet spirit as usual. Here we present some of the rich benefits of dark chocolates, which are extremely helpful and beneficial to health.
As a Beauty Regimen:
With at least 70 percent cocoa, dark chocolate is the only chocolate which delivers beauty benefits. Flavonoids, naturally occurring plant substance in cocoa improves blood flow to the skin, improves skin hydration and complexion, absorb UV light and protect skin against sun- induced damage. Cocoa helps in reducing the stress hormones, resulting less collagen breakdown in the skin lowering the wrinkles.
Antioxidants present in dark chocolate help your skin look its best, fights free radicals and improves hydration and thickness which is important for young looking skin. The bio active compounds in dark chocolate also work great. Eating dark chocolate will increase oxygen and blood flow to the scalp leading to strong healthy hair.
Improves Brain Functionality:
Experts say that consuming dark chocolate helps in improving the cognitive function, by increasing the blood flow to brain and heart. Cocoa helps in improving the cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine(PEA), a naturally released chemical compound by our brain. PEA encourages our brain to release some endorphins that makes us feel happier.
Dark chocolate contains a mild stimulant called caffeine, which is less when compared to the caffeine levels in coffee is also the key reason for improving the brain functionality. Eating dark chocolate everyday improves verbal fluency and also several risk factors for disease.
Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases:
In a Swedish study it was proved that those who eat one or two servings of dark chocolate every week cut their risk of heart failure. Dark chocolate lowers the risk of clogged artery congestion and blood pressure by preventing heart aches and strokes. This is achieved as it helps in co-creating nitric oxide, a proven blood vessel vasodilator. Flavanoids and antioxidants compounds present in dark chocolate increases the flexibility of veins and arteries, which reduces the blood pressure raising effects of workout on overweight individuals.
The compounds in it appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). A survey revealed that eating dark chocolate more than 5 times a week can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent. Magnesium content in cocoa contributes highly to heart health. Enjoy the chocolate treat; after all, a dark chocolate bar has five times the flavonoids of an apple.
Improves Weight Loss:
Adding dark chocolate to your diet plan must be easier than you expect without putting on pounds. The interesting fact is that though it is slightly bitter in taste, it helps in lessening your cravings for salty, fatty and sweet foods. Reduction in food cravings prevents you from over eating and this means foods that promote feelings of fullness can be important for your weight loss diet plan. Also a small nibble of dark chocolate makes you feel full longer and make you eat less in your next meal.
Dark Chocolate is full of MUFAs and the healthy fats present in it will revive your metabolism to burn more fat and calories. Indulging a small portion of dark chocolate to your diet chart is recommended for promoting optimal health lines and is like jackpot to your routine diet plan.
Candy as a Diabetes Foe:
The cocoa present in dark chocolate inhibits blood sugar levels to help prevent diabetes and obesity. Flavonoids present in dark chocolates increase nitric oxide protection, which helps in controlling the insulin sensitivity. Flavonoids help in reducing insulin resistance of your body cells, so that they can function properly and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently.
Dark Chocolate protects you from type 2 diabetes by keeping your blood vessels healthy and also improve your blood circulation unimpaired. Dark chocolate’s low glycemic index doesn’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels. You can also find dark chocolates with up to 90 percent cocoa and is a huge benefit to diabetic patients who get over the taste of chocolate milk candies once addicted to dark candies.
Source Hub of Antioxidants:
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that act as antioxidants and are biologically active. These compounds constitute of polyphenols, flavanols, catechins and many others. They help your body in eliminating free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. As free radicals are implicated in the aging process and prevent cancer, eating dark chocolate may protect you from various cancer types and slower the signs of aging. Polyphenols present in cocoa reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. The measure of antioxidants activity is rich in dark chocolate than other fruits they tested which included blueberries and acai berries.
Powerful Source of Nutrients:
A good quality dark chocolate has high cocoa content and is actually nutritious. Dark chocolate contains high concentration of vitamins and nutrients that can support your health. It is loaded with minerals with a decent amount of soluble fiber. A 100 gram bar of dark candy which is usually a fairly large amount contains 70- 85 percent of cocoa. It contains,
- 98 percent of RDA for Manganese
- 89 percent of RDA for Copper
- 67 percent of RDA for Iron
- 58 percent of RDA for Magnesium
- 11 grams of fiber
It also contains plenty of potassium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. Although, all these nutrients come up with 600 calories and moderates amount of sugar. Hence a dark chocolate serves best when consumed in moderation. It also contains stimulants like theobromine and caffeine and are unlikely to cause less sleep at nights as dark chocolates contains very less amount of caffeine compared to coffee. Theobromine is meant to harden tooth enamel and lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene. This mild stimulant also helps in suppress coughs.
Anecdote for Mood Enhancement:
Dark chocolate contains a chemical compound called serotonin, which is capable of increasing production of endorphins. Dark chocolate is an anti- depressant and can really cheer you up as they tend to have a positive effect on your mood. Researchers found out that molecules in dark chocolates and some other berries were similar to a substance called valporic acid, which is a chemical used in mood stabilizing drugs. It helps those who suffer with emotional chaos and bipolar disorder and level out the moods of people. It eases the PMS issues in women who are prone to different mood swings at times.
Taste Test – The 10 Best Dark Chocolate Bars that You Can Indulge In
Once considered a delicacy, dark chocolate has now become a treat for health conscious people. But, in order for the dark chocolates to be really healthy, it has to be clean-label and 100% organic. And most of the so-called dark chocolates we come across at stores have low cacao content, are processed with alkali, high in sugar and trans fats. So, how to choose the best dark chocolate from among the plethora of options? Well, healthy dark chocolate bars should be 100% organic, have more than 70% cocoa, not processed with alkali and fair trade. Here we have listed the dark chocolate bars as per best dark chocolate brands ranking from 1 to 10.
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate
When it comes to dark chocolate, no other brand can surpass the rich heritage of Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli was established in San Francisco more than 160 years back, thus making it America’s oldest operation chocolate maker. The delicious legacy of Ghirardelli chocolate can be tasted in every bite of the premium dark chocolates.
The best quality cocoa beans are selected from various parts of the world – Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. These beans are blended together to develop the characteristic taste and complex aroma of the Ghirardelli dark chocolate. The best option for healthy eaters is Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate that comes with 72% and 86% cacao content. Ghirardelli intense dark is available both as bars and small squares.
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate
Tantalise your taste buds with the intense and rich taste of Swiss dark chocolate from Lindt and Sprüngli Confectionary, more popularly known as Lindt. It was established in the year 1845 in Zurich, Switzerland by David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his daughter, Anna Burleson. Lindt dark chocolate provides a unique and sophisticated sensory experience to chocolate lovers and provides the ultimate dark chocolate pleasure.
The Lindt Excellence range is manufactured by the master chocolatier at Lindt that are available in options of 70%, 85% and 90% cacao bars. The Lindt dark chocolate bars can be paired with superior quality red wine for a mesmerising wine and chocolate tasting experience.
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate
Are you a dark chocolate and animal lover? Then the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate is the ideal treat for you. Made from finest quality cocoa that is procured only from small, family-owned farms, the company helps the humanitarian cause of sustaining these farmers. The company was set up in the year 1993 in Indianapolis, Indiana, The United States of America with a cause of raising awareness about the increasing number of endangered plant and animal species.
When you buy any 3oz. Endangered Species bar, you get to learn about an at-risk species by reading the inside of the wrapper. It also donated 10% of the net profits to support conservation efforts. The 72% cacao and 88% cacao bars are the healthiest options. You can also try the Endangered Species Panther Dark Chocolate.
Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate
The Green and Black’s Dark Chocolate is the ideal treat for every occasion that makes your special moments memorable. Green and Blacks is a British chocolate company that was founded in the year 1991 by Craig Sams and Josephine Fairley. While the “Green” stands for environmental concerns of the manufacturers and the “Black” stands for the cocoa-rich chocolates they manufacture.
Only finest quality Trinitario beans are used to develop the dynamic flavours and aromas of the dark chocolate. If you want to enjoy the taste of real organic dark chocolate, the Green and Blacks is the best option for you. These dark chocolates are free of genetically modified ingredients and come is options of 75% cacao 85% cacao bars.
Sweetriot Organic Dark Chocolate
Enjoy the taste of 100% organic, fair-trade and non-GMO dark chocolate bars with Sweetriot organic dark chocolate. The company was established by Sarah Endline in NYC. The sweet treats from Sweetriot present a joyful celebration of diversity, culture and understanding. This is one of the healthiest dark chocolate brands that uses all-natural ingredients and ensure high-quality and wonderful taste. You can choose from pure 60%, 70% and 80% cacao dark chocolate.
Sweetriot is a company with a unique social mission of supporting emerging artists and artistic communities. Every month, Sweetriot conducts the “Rock the Art Vote” contest where customers choose an emerging artist to design their upcoming packaging.
Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate
Pascha stands as the benchmark of superior quality dark chocolate because it is organic, fair-trade and non-GMO dark chocolate. The company was established by Simon Lester in the year 2013. It is the best dark chocolate for health which is absolutely free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs and gluten making it a safe option even for people with soy allergy, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance.
Pascha is a pure and simple approach to chocolate which is delicious and wonderful on its own. It uses only natural ingredients like cocoa and sugar cane that perfectly blend with each other. The principle of production is keeping the end product as close as possible to the source of the ingredients in order to preserve freshness. Pascha organic dark chocolate bar comes in varieties of 55% cacao, 70% cacao and 85% cacao content.
Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate Bar
Scharffen Berger is a world famous chocolate brand that is produced by the Artisan Confections Company, a subsidiary of the Hershey Company. The company was founded in San Francisco in the year 1997 by winemaker John Scharffenberger and physician Robert Steinberg. It is one of the very few American chocolate making companies that makes chocolate from bean to bar. The dark chocolate bars are produced using small-batch procession and have high cocoa solid content.
Scharffen Berger holds a distinct place in the art of chocolate making because of its commitment towards producing authentic, high-quality and flavorful chocolates. The high-quality beans are obtained from small sustainable farms. The selection of dark chocolate bars and squares range from 62% to 82% cacao content. The Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate Bar is worth a special mention.
Alter Eco Dark Chocolate
If you are a connoisseur of high-quality dark chocolate then Alter Eco is the right choice for you. This brand is devoted to manufacturing USDA organic, fair trade dark chocolate bars that also contains the goodness of sugarcane, quinoa and rice. Alter Eco is a France-based alternative trading institute that was established in the year 1998 by Tristan Lecomte and later spread to the United States and Australia in the year 2005.
The Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate Bar is worth a try because its contains 85% cocoa and is made from only four 100% organic and fair-trade ingredients – cocoa beans, cocoa butter, raw cane sugar and vanilla beans.
Godiva Dark Chocolate
Experience the rich and smooth taste of fine Belgian dark chocolate with Godiva Chocolatier that has a colourful heritage. Godiva was founded in Brussels, Belgium by Joseph Draps in the year 1926. The company derives its name from the inspiring story of Lady Godiva, who risked even her modesty in order to lift the taxation of her fellow townspeople.
The Godiva dark chocolates are marked for their unparalleled smoothness, quality ingredients and elegant styling. The dark chocolate bars are not processed with alkali. The Godiva 72% Cacao Chocolate Bars are undoubtedly the best option.
Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate
What better way to close this delicious and bittersweet list of best dark chocolate brands that with mouth-watering German dark chocolate from the brand Moser Roth. The company was established in the year 1841 in Stuttgart, Germany by pastry chef Wilhelm Roth Jr. bad it was later taken over by Wilhelm Wagner and Kommerzienrat Sproesser.
The skilful blending of the superior-quality ingredients gives Moser Roth dark chocolate the sophisticated taste and distinct aroma. The 70% cacao and 85% cacao dark chocolate bars taste heavenly.
Consuming a daily nib of this bitter but better candy bar rewards you with many amazing health and beauty benefits. Down to the bottom line their ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) are much higher than any other foods. Also they can be consumed in variety of ways either by putting them in coffee, topping it on the bowl of plain whole milk organic yogurt with raw honey or by adding them to a smoothie. Adding dark candies is a way of rejoicing your healthy diet plan. Hope this article is helpful and do share your valuable comments via comments section.