Four Potential Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Edward Anderton manages customer-facing operations, develops e-commerce solutions, and creates production forecasting tools as the managing director of Scarlata Chocolate in Seattle. Under Edward Anderton’s direction, Scarlata Chocolate creates a wide selection of premium, handcrafted chocolate products. When made with quality, unprocessed ingredients, dark chocolate can offer a number of potential health benefits as explored below.

1. Improves heart health. Dark chocolate contains flavonols that positively affect the body by improving blood flow to the brain and lowering blood pressure. They also reduce the risk of stroke by diminishing the stickiness of blood platelets and making them less likely to clot. Dark chocolates with at least 70 percent cacao with added fat or sugars offer the best heart benefits.

2. Source of antioxidants. Flavonols also possess antioxidants that can improve the function of certain organs and benefit circulatory systems. For instance, studies indicate that flavanol antioxidants may increase blood flow to the brain and reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.

3. Reduces blood pressure. The coco phenols in dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure when consumed in small quantities. One 2015 study found that dark chocolate with high percentages of cacao decreased fasting blood sugar and reduced blood pressure in patients with hypersensitive diabetes.

4. Boosts mood. Chocolate possesses a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), which encourages the brain to release endorphins that cause feelings of happiness and contentment.

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