It’s old news that dark chocolate has health-giving phytonutrients, but research shows that certain kinds of dark chocolate are especially good for the body.

And in a way that you’re probably not assuming.

Look for chocolate bars that say at least 70 percent cacao (which would, in turn have a corresponding opposite percentage of organic cane sugar).

Thus, you’d be looking at a bar with, say, 80 percent cocao and 20 percent organic cane sugar.

The research from Loma Linda University reveals that this type of chocolate has beneficial effects on mental stress, mood, memory,  cognitive abilities, immunity and inflammation.

Gee, who knew that chocolate could be beneficial to mood?

Instead of a high sugar content being the likely origin of elevated mood, it’s the higher concentration of cacao, say the researchers.

Cacao has potent anti-inflammatory compounds that boost the vigor of one’s cardiovascular system but also the brain.

Lee S. Berk, DrPH, lead study author, says in the report that more research is needed to determine the finer details of how the compounds in high concentrations of cacao influence the brain, cognition and immune system.

In the meantime, forego the chocolate donuts, chocolate muffins and brownies in the grocery store’s baked goods section, and opt for chocolate bars with the highest concentrations of cacao.

“Dark chocolate is considered healthy mostly because the ‘darker’ the chocolate or cocoa, the less sugar and milk additives have been added to it,” says Shana Spence, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in New York.

“Dark chocolate also makes for a great antioxidant; it outranks blueberries and acai on the ORAC test ‘oxygen radical absorbance capacity,’ which tests for antioxidant levels.

“It contains many vitamins and minerals including fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.

“Studies have proven that the flavanols in dark chocolate actually do lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.

“HOWEVER, dark chocolate is not calorie and fat free. Portions still need to be minded, and it should not be considered a ‘free for all’ when eating.

“It can be considered a nice sweet treat for the middle or the end of the day.”

shana spenceShana Spence of The Nutrition Tea is committed to providing trending information and nutrition facts covering a wide range including nutrition for heart disease and diabetes, pediatric nutrition and healthful lifestyles.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



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Source: Why Dark Chocolate Is a Health Food