Benefits of Dark Chocolate. What about unsweetened version?
We all know that dark chocolate with high percent of cocoa is a healthy meal but many people don’t know that raw cocoa deliver so much more benefits that they can possible imagine. Chocolate with low amount of sugar like dark chocolate or versions without any sugar are the best choice you can make for your overall health.
Dark chocolate is known by its ingredients but you need to understand that high price and bitter taste bring all of the benefits for your eyes, brain, skin, cardiovascular system and antimicrobial protection.
Dark chocolate improves vision
Dark chocolate improves visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. That was proven in american study done in 2018 where researchers concluded that contrast sensitivity and visual acuity are significantly higher approximately two hours after consumption of a dark chocolate compared with a milk chocolate. We all know that cocoa is rich in flavanols and polyphenols and many other phytochemicals with anti-aging properties that are not described in nutritional facts under proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. (1)
Dark chocolate improves visual and cognitive functions
Cocoa flavanols are the substances responsible for benefits of dark chocolate. These compounds influence physiological processes in our brain and their consumption may improve aspects of neural function. Other studies have found positive influences of cocoa flavanols on cognitive performance. Study that was done in 2011 showed that dark chocolate have beautiful benefits on vision and brain. 30 healthy adults consumed both dark chocolate containing 720 mg cocoa flavanols and the same quantity of white chocolate. Visual contrast sensitivity was completely different with dark chocolate. Individuals reported that reading numbers became progressively more similar in luminance to their background.
This study is a final proof that dark chocolate or raw cocoa powder improved visual contrast sensitivity and reduced the time required to detect motion direction. Cocoa flavanols improved spatial memory and performance on some aspects of the choice reaction time task. It is nice to know that this is the first report of acute effects of raw cocoa powder or dark chocolate on the efficiency of visual function. These effects can be explained by increased cerebral blood flow caused by cocoa phytochemicals, although in the case of contrast sensitivity there may be an additional contribution from cocoa flavanols induced retinal blood flow changes. There is no doubt that dark chocolate has benefits for many health areas. When you consume dark chocolate, make sure that it has no more sugar than common fruits and nuts. Dark chocolate with 90% cocoa has approximately 7% sugars and beautiful aroma. (2)
Dark chocolate and raw cocoa improve brain
Phytochemicals found in dark chocolate are known to improve memory function with action of increase blood flow to the brain. The flavonoids in natural raw cocoa and dark chocolate have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain in young and old people. In one study, a single dose of cocoa increased blood flow to the brain in healthy, young adults. Increased cerebral flow may help prevent mental decline in seniors. There are so many benefits that dark chocolate or raw organic cocoa powder can provide for our brain. (3)
Dark chocolate has anti-cancer properties
Dark chocolate is healthy if it has no more than 20% of total sugars. I suggest that you always consume at least chocolate with at least 85% of cocoa. If you want to know the truth about anti-cancer properties of raw cocoa powder or dark chocolate, you need to understand that all the benefits of these compounds can be neutralized by sugar. It is wise to consume chocolate with 90% cocoa which has great aroma. dark chocolate with 85% cocoa content has around 14% sugars which is acceptable while 90% has around 7% of sugars which is excellent to gain all the benefits.
Common chocolates that has 40 or 50% of sugars and only 30% cocoa compounds actually work as cancer proliferative. It means that they encourage cancer production because of high sugar content. Diabetics also know what it means if they consume any common white or other type of chocolate with normal amount of sugars. Dark chocolate compared to white chocolate usually has 100% less sugars and it is anti-cancer agent. While white chocolate variations like famous Milka provide small amounts of benefits only to healthy person. Remember to always buy chocolate with no more than 20% of sugar, 10% would be the best choice.
be sick with white chocolate.
What kind of dark chocolate do you prefer?
I recommended famous brand Lindt to anyone who wants to gain full potential and benefits of dark chocolate. They have high quality cocoa powder and butter with natural bourbon vanilla. They melt these compounds for long period of time to gain all the pleasant aromas from these substances. If you like to keep some sweetness of chocolate, buy Lindt Dark Chocolate with 90% of Cocoa.
I have tried so many types of chocolates in my life and I would always encourage all parents to adapt their children to high cocoa content in chocolates rather than high sugar content. We all know that sugars feeds microbes like bacteria, fungi, viruses and cancer. If you r children are regularly sick or have common cold, replace all artificially produced candies with natural fruits and cocoa products with low amount of sugars and high amount of cocoa. Nuts and seeds with combination of raw cocoa powder would be the best option for your children. Chocolates with 90% cocoa are still sweet while chocolates with 100% cocoa are always bitter.
What about Dark Chocolate with 100% Cocoa and no sugar?
Preimum Unsweetened Dark chocolate from Ghirardelli is a good choice but it doesn’t have any sweetness like dark chocolates with 85% or 90% cocoa. It is a healthy chocolate but I personally prefer Lindt over that chocolate. Of course Lindt has almost 100% higher price for the same amount of ingredients. You can buy unsweetened dark chocolate on iherb for fair price. There are so many different companies that provide 100% cocoa dark chocolates but if the price is too high or you simply don’t want their quality or aroma you can prepare your own unsweetened dark chocolate at home.
When is the best time to consume dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is high in minerals, vitamins, proteins and anti-aging phytochemicals like theobromine, epicatechin and other flavanoids. These compounds regenerate damaged cells in our brain and other tissues. This is the main reason why you should consume chocolate before you relax your body in order to achieve desired results. Our bodies are made to regenerate best when we sleep because we are completely relaxed and our immune system has complete control over our cells and tissues. When we are in the fitness club and perform any kind of activity, our body cannot create or generate new tissues but is able to protect from damage of stress and free radicals. When we complete our daily exercise, our muscles needs food and time to heal. The best time to heal our brain and eyes is when we go to bed because they are relaxed. We can achieve 500% better regeneration and new tissue creation when we sleep at night while we work during the day. The best time for dark chocolate can be anytime when you don’t work for couple of hours.
Difference between normal and dark chocolate
Dark chocolate with high amount of cocoa can provide even 100% more flavanoids and other beneficial compounds than common chocolates. Dark chocolate with 90% of cocoa have approximately 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of chocolate bar. Usual chocolate have around 50& of sugars. The other 50% is composed of cocoa butter which is mostly saturated fat and cocoa powder. For benefits of chocolate over amount of sugars you need to consume dark chocolate with 85% or 90% cocoa. Normal chocolate has even five times less minerals, vitamins and flavanoids compared to common dark chocolate. Make your choice what you do prefer from chocolate, sweetness or special aroma and health benefits. You already know.
What is the composition of Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate is rich in phytochemicals like teobromine, epicatechin and other flavanoids. It is also rich in so many substances that their benefits are not proven but they all has great potential for our overall health. Common facts about dark chocolate are just numbers of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins which are also very important because they work properly with other phytochemicals. Dark chocolate is rich in protein compound Arginine, which gives hardness to our tissues, skin and muscles. It is also rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and copper. All these beneficial minerals gives our tissues supply of required nutrients to work properly. The composition of usual Dark chocolate with 90% Cocoa can tell you how big is the difference between common white or other high sugar chocolate that has 300% less flavanols, minerals, vitamins and proteins.
Cocoa Butter has excellent anti-microbial properties
The main compound of any chocolate no matter if it is white or dark is cocoa butter. This substance also gives strength and hardness to chocolate on room temperature. Cocoa butter is a type of vegetable fat that is extracted from cocoa beans. Some pole also call cocoa butter a Theobroma oil which is a popular ingredient around the world for many products. If you want the best and healthiest fat, you should buy cocoa butter and not coconut oil. Cocoa butter has different profile of fatty acids and it is not only saturated fat but also unsaturated fat. It has so many anti-microbial properties because of fatty acid composition. Cocoa butter is also used to treat psoriasis, acne and eczema as well as other skin problems.
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Make your own healthy unsweetened dark chocolate
All you need for the best version of dark chocolate are three major ingredients. 100 grams of dark chocolate is usually composed of 50% cocoa butter and 50% cocoa powder. Add vanilla powder or vanilla extract to make your chocolate perfect. Vanillin which is an active substance of vanilla also has anti-cancer properties. Do not buy vanilla sugar but rather than that buy organic natural vanilla powder. It is also very important to get high quality cocoa powder with pleasant aroma to get desirable chocolate.
Recipe for your own unsweetened dark chocolate
Mix all ingredients in a bowl on low heat and leave it for couple of minutes with cover to keep all the aromas. After that you can put your mixture in the silicone chocolate model and leave it to cool down in refrigerator. After couple of hours your chocolate will be ready and you will finally enjoy 100% dark chocolate with no additives or sugar. All the ingredients can be bought anywhere where you prefer but you can always order them online to get the best value for the price. Dark chocolate as explained has many benefits for your eyes, brain, cardiovascular system, skin, heart and also for hormone production. It is rich in high quality proteins, minerals and other beneficial phytochemicals like flavanoids. If you prefer sweetness over health benefits, you should buy chocolate with 85% cocoa otherwise 90% cocoa or unsweetened dark chocolate is a good option.