You eat chocolate when you celebrate, when you’re stressed, incredibly happy or incredibly sad—chocolate has seen both ends of the spectrum. It is our BFF. It understands.
Unfortunately, our bodies don’t understand chocolate the way our minds and hearts do. It gives joy, excessive milk and sugar but rather small amounts of cacao.
Chocolate lovers need not fret, though. There is hope in dark chocolate.
In contrast to other types, dark chocolate has much larger amounts of cacao and less sugar than milk chocolate. It also has health and skin benefits. While too much of anything is still a big no, studies have dark chocolate is the healthier sweet treat when taken moderately.
Protects the skin from UV damage
Bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can be great for your skin as explained by Live No BS. Compounds called “flavonols” can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. Flavonols also help prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
A powerful source of antioxidants
Medical News Today says dark chocolate contains compounds like polyphenols and flavonols (again!) that possess antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, those molecules that damage the DNA and cells). They also prevent oxidative stress which refers to the damage that excessive amounts of free radicals can inflict on cells and tissues in the body.
(Oxidative stress contributes to the natural aging process. But over time, its effects may also contribute to the development of a variety of conditions heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and eye disease.)
May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure
Flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the lining of arteries called endothelium to produce nitric oxide (NO) according to medical research. NO sends signals to the arteries for them to relax and lower their resistance to blood flow. This reduces blood pressure.
Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, though the effects are usually mild. However, one study on people with high blood pressure showed no effect, so take all this with a grain of salt.
Detoxifies and promotes skin glow
Dark chocolate makes an excellent skin-detoxifier in combination with caffeine. It gets rid of dead skin cells and allows new ande unstifled fresh skin to shine through.
If you’re looking for some dark chocolate treats, there are many local brands that make homemade chocolates and sweets, here in Metro Manila.