Craving for chocolate? Try small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate. This common favourite delightful treat may actually be beneficial to your health. It may not be sweet in taste, but the wholesome health benefits it holds for you is definitely sweet.
With less sugar and saturated fat when compared to milk chocolate, white chocolate and other kinds of chocolate, this dark variant of chocolate is heart-healthy, makes your arteries, veins and heart work better, and also boosts your mood.
But did you know it is also one of the top anti-cancer foods? That’s quite impressive coming from something delicious and chocolatey. But what’s the science behind that claim, and how do we maximize the advantages?
- Source of Dark Chocolate
- Healthy Reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate
- Anti Cancer Effect of Dark Chocolate
Source of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, comes from the Theobroma cacao tree. The tree produces fruit in the form of cacao pods containing seeds, called cacao beans, that are used for making chocolate. A dark chocolate should have at least 70% cocoa solids to be considered a healthy superfood.
Healthy reasons to eat dark chocolate
Many people believe that chocolate is not good for health, but here’s something that will pop that bubble. There are many reasons to indulge in your sweet cravings for chocolate intake without any guilt. The high concentrations of beneficial flavonoids present in chocolate make it a superfood favourite.
Packed with phytonutrients, it offers a wealth of health benefits. It helps to reduce high blood pressure, prevent heart attack and stroke, reduce risk of heart disease, boosts blood flow in blood vessels,improve brain function, improves cognition, prevent memory loss, improves mood and symptoms of depression, alleviates stress, lowers the risk of diabetes, may help with weight loss, and is good for your skin.
Anti cancer effect of dark chocolate
When it comes to cancer prevention, the answer is very simple: Dark chocolate. By adding it to the diet, you can easily reap its cancer-fighting benefits. We all know that free radicals play a pivotal role in the development and progression of cancer.
When you have too many harmful free radicals in your body, they begin to attack your cells. The damaged cells may, in turn, trigger cancer. Dark chocolate consumption safeguards your healthy cells and tissues from free radicals and may minimize your risk of developing certain cancers. That sounds amazing.
Chocolate, a great defender against deleterious radicals, is indeed one of the best sources of powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants that you can find. This delectable delight is rich in flavanols (a sub-category of larger group phytochemicals known as flavonoids) that may potentially assist in cancer prevention and management by:
- Cleaning up toxic compounds called free-radicals
- Slowing and preventing DNA damage stimulated by free radicals
- Minimizing activation of molecules that take part in cancer development and progression
- Inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells
- Aiding to reduce inflammation linked with cancer and cancer therapies
Of the numerous flavonoids present in dark chocolate, two flavonoids, in particular, quercetin and epicatechin, are believed to be responsible for the anti cancer effect. Few observational studies show that individuals who eat a diet rich in flavonoids from chocolate or cocoa have minimized occurrence of cancer compared to those who don’t consume them.
A study evaluating the preventive effects of cocoa in cancer reported that cocoa and its main polyphenols could interfere with the initiation and progression of cancer. So, for chocolate lovers, what could be a better option than dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids it contains and the more health benefits it offers.
If you find yourself craving chocolate, you can opt for a healthy choice by picking dark chocolates. The American Cancer Society suggests high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.
With the intense aroma of cocoa, it melts in your mouth and leaves a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Add these nutritious chocolates to your healthy lifestyle ofcolorful vegetables, fruits, andexercise. Loaded with antioxidants, it can be a healthy option in your diet.
Consuming a moderate amount of dark chocolate (1.5 to 3 ounces) every day will not only satisfy your taste buds but can also decrease the risk of developing certain types of cancer. It offers promising antioxidant effects in combination with an extremely pleasurable eating experience. So, go ahead and enjoy the nutritious dark chocolate bar.
You can also readnaturally occurring antioxidants for cancer prevention.