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Dark Chocolates : Are They Really Healthful?

Pieces of dark chocolate stacked on top of each other.Dark chocolate has become increasingly popular because it has been reported to have better health benefits if compared to milk chocolate that contains less cacao. Specifically, dark chocolate has around 50% to 90% cacao content while milk chocolate has less than 50%. Increased caca o content denotes that it contains more of the flavonoid antioxidants that bring most of its health benefits.

Dark chocolate also has more caffeine because of its extra cacao solids, although the amount of caffeine is still not enough for it to be a better alternative to coffee. In fact, drinking a cup of hot dark chocolate won’t help in keeping you awake as it does quite the opposite. Dark chocolate has an amino acid called Tryptophan,  a precursor for serotonin, which is a chemical that aids in promoting sleep.

Additionally, serotonin induces mood enhancement and brain function. That being the case,  dark chocolate is the perfect snack for activities like studying, which needs a lot of brain power.

What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

Close up image of dark chocolate bars.As mentioned earlier, dark chocolate is abundant in chemicals called flavonoids that are often found in cocoa. These chemicals have antioxidant properties, and can help lessen insulin resistance to lower the risk of diabetes. Dark chocolate chemicals also induce production of nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow. Furthermore, this type of chocolate has compounds called theobromine and polyphenols that increase the levels of good cholesterol and lowers the levels of bad cholesterol.