Dark chocolate, especially in moderation, contains antioxidants that help the body’s cells fight free radical damage. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants.
It is worth noting that chocolate also contains some saturated fat, which can have a negative effect on blood lipid levels, and the positive effects of flavonols in chocolate outweigh its risks, as dark chocolate can be a good source of flavonols, especially when consumed in small amounts. In addition to eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, reducing stress levels, and maintaining a healthy weight, dark chocolate has health benefits.
The benefits of chocolate for the heart include:
There may be a link between chocolate consumption and a reduced risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, according to a systematic review published in the British Medical Journal in 2011. Cardiovascular disease may be reduced by chocolate.
According to a 2017 meta-analysis published in Nutrients, eating chocolate reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. This benefit can be obtained by eating chocolate in moderation, at least six servings per week.
According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine, dark chocolate is rich in cocoa, which contains polyphenols that can help raise levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and fatty acids in the blood. By modifying the fatty acid composition of LDL cholesterol, it makes it more resistant to oxidative damage.
In a 2007 study, small amounts of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate added to the daily diet effectively lowered blood pressure in healthy people with high blood pressure.
Flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium of vessels to produce nitric oxide, one of whose functions is to ease blood flow resistance and lower blood pressure. Consuming dark chocolate in moderation and choosing it wisely are important considerations.
What kind of chocolate is good for your heart?
Cocoa butter and sugar are mixed with cocoa solids to determine the degree of chocolate. Chocolate comes in three types: milk chocolate containing 10% cocoa, dark chocolate containing at least 35% cocoa, and white chocolate containing less than 10% cocoa. There are no cocoa solids in this product, only cocoa butter, sugar, and other ingredients.
In addition to flavonoids, dark chocolate contains a subtype called flavonols, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure in adults. It’s important to check the nutrition label and choose dark chocolate varieties that are low in fat and sugar.
What is the maximum amount of chocolate you can eat?
It is acceptable to eat chocolate in moderate amounts, such as 28 grams a few times a week, along with apples, tea, onions, and blueberries that are rich in flavonoids. Due to chocolate’s high sugar and saturated fat content, it is a rich source of energy and calories, and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.