Highlights

  • Dark, white and milk chocolate are some variations of choco treats
  • The beneficial effects of dark chocolate might be more significant in older people
  • The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin

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Not everything ‘dark’ is dingy; dark chocolate has more health benefits than you think

Dark chocolate contains at least 50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, but it doesn’t contain milk. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids you’re getting and the most possible health benefits.

A popular treat across the globe, chocolate has a range of variations - chocolate drinks to chocolate flavouring to hard chocolate candies. Of them, dark chocolate contains at least 50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, but it doesn’t contain milk. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids you’re getting and the most possible health benefits.

Lowers blood pressure

The flavanols in dark chocolate stimulate nitric oxide production in the body. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health in the USA, nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate, or widen, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. The beneficial effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure might be more significant in older people and those with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, as opposed to younger, healthier individuals.

Effect on cholesterol

Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols and theobromine, which may lower levels of bad cholesterol in the body and increase levels of good healthy cholesterol. A study published in Science Directs reveals that eating dark chocolate for 15 days raised good cholesterol levels in people living with HIV.

Also watch: Yummy and healthy drinks to keep you warm and cosy this winter season

Protects against the sun

The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. A study by the National Institutes of Health in the USA reveals that flavanols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration. If you’re planning a beach vacation, consider enjoying some extra dark chocolate in the prior weeks and months. But check with your doctor or dermatologist before forgoing your normal skin care routine in favour of more dark chocolate.

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