5 Top Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Posted on June 5, 2013 | by

Mark Twain’s Quote says, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”

But, now you can keep your health by eating something you would love to eat any time. Here comes the good news – dark chocolate has got some great health benefits.

The news seems too good to be true but it is as some recent research studies have revealed the healthy side of Dark chocolate…but hold on…it doesn’t mean you switch to 100% chocolate diet.

Researchers recommend around 7 grams of daily consumption to get the complete benefits.

The major health benefits of dark chocolate include:

Heart Healthy
Dark chocolate is known to improve blood flow and help prevent the formation of blood clots. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidant compounds that improve the flexibility of veins and arteries.

Helps Control Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate promotes the healthy functioning of blood vessels and ensures normal blood circulation to provide protection against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids, a vital constituent in dark chocolate, are also effective in reducing insulin resistance by ensuring normal functioning of the cells. Flavonoids help the cell to regain the ability to utilize body’s insulin efficiently.

Good for Your Brain
The consumption of dark chocolate enhances blood flow to the brain and the heart thereby improving cognitive function. Dark chocolate is also effective in reducing risk of stroke.

Dark chocolate has several chemical compounds including phenylethylamine (PEA) that stimulates brain to secrete endorphins. The secretion of PEA brings the feeling of pleasure and makes you feel happier.

Good for Teeth
There is good news for the parents who resist their children from eating chocolate for the fear that it might aid tooth decay! Dark chocolate contains a chemical named theobromine that, as researchers believe, hardens tooth enamel. However, don’t compromise on yours and your children’s oral hygiene.

Weight Loss
Dark chocolate contains high fiber that makes you feel full and your cravings for fatty and calorific foods decrease. This way dark chocolate aids weight-loss.

Now as you are aware of the benefits of dark chocolate, check out this delicious and heart-healthy recipe of Dr. Janet that has dark chocolate as the main ingredient.

Heart Healthy Recipe: Flourless Dark Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts

Ingredients

  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place black beans in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar, oats, cocoa powder, olive oil, espresso powder, flax seed, vanilla, and salt.
  • With an electric mixer blend the ingredients until the black beans are mushed up and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the middle of the brownies is firm.
  • Let cool before slicing into 16 pieces.

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