The Dark Arts
Chocolate comes from the seed of a cocoa tree. Rich in minerals, it is further subdivided into 2 categories: Milk chocolate and Dark chocolate. Although other derivatives exist, in this article we’ll only focus on these two.
The former is conventionally the more popular choice. This is obvious due to the fact that it has a delightfully sweet and crispy taste. However, its dominance is slowly fading and dark chocolate is quickly emerging as a genuine contender to dethrone milk chocolate as the most popular choice.
Although those uninitiated by it are surprised by its bitter taste, they need only some time before this wins them over too. Sooner or later, their taste adjusts, and then they can’t live without it. Its complex taste and structure demand attention and commitment from the consumer. Those tempted by dark chocolate seldom accept any other alternatives – least of all milk chocolate.
Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Apart from flavor, dark chocolate offers many health benefits too. Cocoa seeds are naturally one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world. Having said that, adding multiple ingredients comprises the integrity of the chocolate, thus making it less effective. However, one of the reasons dark chocolate is gaining popularity is because of its medicinal prowess. Let’s take a look at some of them.
. Blood Pressure
Dark chocolate contains flavanols. They are responsible for stimulating nitro oxide production in the body. This helps the blood vessels to dilate or widen to lower blood pressure and better the blood flow.
An observation of this phenomenon occurred in the Kunna Indians. Located on the Caribbean Coast of Panama, they were an isolated tribe that regularly consumed cocoa seeds. Noticeably, hypertension and high-stress levels were extremely low in the region.
This changed when they moved to an urban location and changed their diets. Soon, deaths from heart diseases began to rise along with other stress-related diseases. This correlation shows the impact dark chocolate has on blood pressure.
High cholesterol is a serious issue in the world and especially in South East Asia. Due to exotic culinary habits, high cholesterol is a common ailment found in the populace. Dark chocolate is an effective remedy for this condition. Its compounds, such as polyphenols and theobromine, lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It’s also responsible for increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The latter is beneficial for your health, whilst the former is a nuisance.
. Skin Protection
Another unique benefit of dark chocolate is its protection of the skin through its bioactive compounds. It can protect your skin against sun damage whilst also increasing skin density, and blood flow to the skin.
The Minimal erythemal dose (MED) refers to the amount of time UVB rays require to cause redness in the skin. The flavanols present in dark chocolate can increase the MED, which results in better protection against the sun.
. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Inflammation is our body’s natural immune response to germs and other harmful substances. However, chronic inflammation is the anomaly. It can damage the cells and tissues, which may result in some health conditions. Cancer, arthritis, and diabetes are all examples of this condition. The anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate can help prevent these diseases in its consumer.
. Brain Functionality
Eating dark chocolate may enhance your brain’s functionality. The flavanols present in dark chocolate may improve neuroplasticity. It is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself to combat injury or any disease. Hence, dark chocolate can help prevent neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s.
Although dark chocolate has numerous health and munch-able qualities, it is wise not to indulge too much. At the end of the day, it still contains calories and is addictive. Coupled with the fact, that chocolate producers don’t have to mention flavanol content, it’s a slippery slope.
Thus, it is advisable to eat dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content. Having a bite to eat after dinner or a heavy meal is advisable if kept in check. Additionally, the chocolate should be placed in a cool, dry area. Placing it in a refrigerator is also not recommended as sugar may rise to the surface due to excess moisture.
All in all, dark chocolate is gaining popularity by the day, and with good reason. The combination of its taste and health benefits makes it an attractive choice for consumers. At this rate, it may dethrone milk chocolate as the sweet staple in every household. Want some mouthwatering dark chocolate desserts to please your taste buds? Visit Hobnob Pakistan.