Before you start trying to figure out what supplement is best for you, remember to take the time to learn about nutrition. The best pre-workout or protein powder means little if you have a poor diet. Of course, if you’ve been watching your diet for any amount of time, you probably have (at least) a basic understanding of nutrition. Eat plenty of vegetables, stay away from junk food, and have plenty of…dark chocolate?
Eat Candy: Stay Healthy!
That’s right; turns out that the question ‘is dark chocolate good for you?’ isn’t as easy to answer as you thought it was. Of course, to understand why this is the case, we need to establish some ground rules. First, we need to accept that standard milk chocolate and dark chocolate are not the same.
Standard milk chocolate is the one that tastes amazing. The issue with this version of chocolate is that it has less cocoa in it than dark chocolate does (‘cocoa’ being the bean that gives chocolate it’s flavor). In fact, milk chocolate often contains plenty of additional milk, sugar and cream. Clearly, this is not what we’re after.
The more cocoa something has, the better it is for you. Dark chocolate has quite a bit more of the cocoa bean, making it the clear choice when it comes to which treat you should indulge in. But more than that, why is dark chocolate good for you? What is it about the cocoa bean that makes it worth including in your diet?
You might be surprised to find that a university study was done in Italy suggesting that dark chocolate was able to decrease blood pressure and actually improve insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals. Dark chocolate in particular has this effect on the human body because of its dense concentration of flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in everything from certain fruits to wine. Basically, all you need to know about flavonoids is that they do everything from managing cell damage to preventing inflammation.
Getting The Most Out Of Chocolate
The proven health benefits of dark chocolate don’t stop there. According to a study in 2006, healthy elderly men who consumed cocoa on a regular basis reduced their risk of cardiovascular illness by 50% over a 15 year period.
Beyond that, there have even been some studies that claim there is a legitimate connection between your skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun’s UV rays. Flavonoids improve blood flow to the skin while also increasing your level of skin hydration. Thanks to the increase in flavonoid consumption, the minimal erythema dose (MED) of the people involved in the experiment would increase by almost 100%.
So, now that you know the impressive effects of flavonoid consumption, you’re thinking about getting your hands on as much chocolate as you can, right? Before you run off to the grocery store and pick up tons of chocolate, let’s go over a few rules. First, if you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money, remember to choose the kind of dark chocolate that is more than 70% cocoa. Don’t be surprised if your local grocery store has some lower grade chocolates; make sure to get the best you possibly can!
The question of ‘is dark chocolate good for you’ actually has a simple (albeit surprising) answer: yes, dark chocolate is good for you, in a variety of different ways. The key to getting the most out of this treat is making sure you’re consuming chocolate that has plenty of cocoa. Remember: nutrition is half the battle. If you’re looking for some creative snack ideas, go ahead and check out our recipes section; you’ll never look at brownies the same way!