Research shows dark chocolate can boost your health

Malaysian woman jailed and fined for stealing 10 chocolate bars on Christmas Day
Representational Image for chocolates Reuters

A new study has revealed that eating dark chocolates could combat your stress, improve the overall mood and have a positive effect on your memory and immunity. The recent findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting in San Diego, California.

The new research suggested that it is just not the sugar, but also cacao, the flavanoid present in dark chocolate that helps people to reap the health benefits of chocolate consumption.

"For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content — the more sugar, the happier we are. This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects," said Dr Lee S. Berk, the lead researcher of the study, quoted by Medical Daily reports.

Berk also revealed that the new findings require further scientific investigation before making any solid conclusion.

Here, IBTimes Singapore compiles other four notable health benefits of eating dark chocolate:

  • Control your blood pressure

Dark chocolates are rich in Magnesium and it will help you to lower your blood pressure easily. Moreover, several studies have found that the nitric oxide level in the body gets increased after the consumption of dark chocolates. Increased nitric oxide in the human body will help in dilating the blood vessels, and thus blood pressure can be lowered naturally.

  • Reduce the risks of cardiovascular disorders

Previous studies have shown that moderate intake of dark chocolates will reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the human body. It will also considerably increase the good cholesterol (HDL) level. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels will help you to stay away from cardiovascular disorders and stroke.

  • Potential cancer prevention

Even though hard to believe, it is a fact that dark chocolates will help you to stay away from cancer. Dark chocolates are rich in anti-oxidants, and it will help to expel free radicals from the human body. The chocolate's rich supply of flavonoids also apparently plays a crucial role in cancer prevention.

"Given chocolate's rich supply of flavonoids, researchers have also investigated whether it may play a role in cancer prevention. The studies in cancer prevention are still emerging. A recent review of studies on the cancer protective properties of cocoa concluded that the evidence is limited but suggestive," says the American cancer institute.

  • Aids weight loss

Eating dark chocolates will give a feeling of fullness, and as a result, you will end up eating less during meal times. These chocolates are loaded with MUFA'S (monounsaturated fatty acids) known for its fat burning capability.

A study conducted in 2012 by researchers at the University of California has found that people who eat dark chocolates a few times a week are slimmer when compared to chocolate non-eaters. Even though dark chocolates are loaded with calories, it has those ingredients that may favor weight loss.

However, this does not mean that you should pile up your refrigerator with loads of chocolate bars. Dr Elizabeth Mostofsky, instructor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard Chan School in Boston says that excessive eating of dark chocolates could load your body with calories, thus triggering weight loss. She asks to have dark chocolates in moderate amounts for maximum health benefits.