Chocolate has the stigma of being a “woman” food. But when it comes to dark chocolate, both men and women can benefit from adding a bit to their diet. Surely you have started to hear the rumors that there may be a lot more benefits to eating dark chocolate, beyond just taming raging hormones, that is. The darker the chocolate the better when it comes to health. Dark Chocolate is healthier than the milk-filled kind because it has a more pure form of the cocoa bean, and thus carries more nutrients and less fat. One of the most-widely hailed benefits of dark chocolate is that it contains antioxidants, which can potentially be very good for your health.
What is an Antioxidant?
The newest diet fad involves getting large amounts of what scientists call antioxidants. This is just a fancy name for a molecule that has a specific function. If you know anything about science, you will realize from the name that anti- means, more or less, “against”. Oxidation is a process that moves hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent, or a substance that yields oxygen. Ok, that sounds all wordy and scientific, so lets just say that an antioxidant keeps oxygen from being seeped out. If this process isn’t inhibited, it can cause a chain reaction in cells that will eventually kill them. Thus, antioxidants can help your cells live longer.
Many fruits, especially berries, contain antioxidants. Acai berries, strawberries, and blueberries are some examples. However, dark chocolate contains almost 8 times more antioxidants than strawberries. If you combine the two, a square of dark chocolate with dried berries in it, you will be loading yourself with the good stuff.
What other health benefits does dark chocolate have?
There is a whole list of possible health benefits that can come from including a portion of dark chocolate into your daily diet. First and foremost on that list is that chocolate releases endorphins. Endorphins are our bodies natural way of inducing feelings of “happiness.” Thus, dark chocolate can literally make you feel happy, not just emotionally but physically. Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, which is another important hormone in our bodies that keeps us from feelings of depression. Caffeine and theobromine are also present in dark chocolate, which can give us a boost of energy.
Besides those above, scientists have been able to prove that dark chocolate may have added benefits in lowering the blood pressure of people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It can also lower cholesterol, LDL (the bad kind!) by up to 10 percent, depending on how much chocolate you include in your diet.
The evidence is before you. Whether man or woman, chocolate is good for your health. But not just any chocolate, dark chocolate. It can help you live longer and, frankly, is just plain tasty. So go out and get a piece. Enjoy!
About the Author
Tiffani Azani is a freelance author for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps students determine if an online education is right for them as well as helps them understand which online colleges they can choose from to reach their educational goals.