Chocolate comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cocoa tree. The seeds are scooped out of the fruit and fermented, followed by drying in the sun. After drying, they are roasted and ground in powder form. Dark chocolate slightly varies from the other variants in the concentration of cocoa, which contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
- Dark chocolates are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids that make them useful in protecting the cells from oxidative damage.
- Research shows that dark chocolates help reduce cardiovascular problems due to their high flavonoid content that is cardioprotective in nature.
- Dark chocolates help reduce blood pressure by releasing nitrous oxide that dilates the blood vessels reducing pressure.
- Studies have shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate has shown to be associated with more minor symptoms of depression.
- Dark chocolates have polyphenols that improve insulin resistance helping individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- Dark chocolates are loaded with vitamins and minerals that protect your skin from damage.
How Dark Chocolate helps in Weight Loss
1. Helps improving Metabolism
Dark chocolates are rich in MUFA monounsaturated fatty acids that help improve metabolism making our body burn more calories faster.
2. Curbs the Cravings
Having dark chocolate regularly helps satiate your body, eliminating the cravings for sweet, salty, and other fatty food items.
3. Don't let Insulin spike
Dark chocolates slow the absorption rate of sugar and don't let insulin spike reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Alleviate your Mood
Eating dark chocolate releases happy hormones and the individuals are less likely to be stressed. Study shows that people consuming dark chocolates regularly have fewer chances of depression, anxiety, and other forms of diseases like Alzheimer's
Dark Chocolate Recipes with a Healthy Twist
1. Ragi Dark Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven and melt all the dark chocolate pieces in it
- Let the molten chocolates cool completely
- Mix baking powder, sugar, ragi flour, salt, and milk the mixture well. Make sure there are no lumps in it.
- Add melted chocolate and melted butter to this mixture and mix well
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tin for baking at 150 degrees
- Let the cake cool down before removing it from the baking plate
2. Dark Chocolate Oatmeal
- Heat peanut butter, milk, and dark chocolate in a saucepan
- Let the chocolate completely melt before removing the pan from the heat
- Add rolled oats to the mixture
- Scoop out the mix and make dollops of it
- Place them on a baking sheet in the fridge
- Let the pops rest for ten minutes before serving the meal
Word of Caution
It is evident that dark chocolate has many benefits, but that doesn't mean you will not eat it in moderation. Excess consumption will do more harm than good. It is highly suggested that you consume in moderation to reap maximum benefits.
Breastfeeding and pregnant ladies should be careful about cocoa content while consuming dark chocolates. The cocoa present can spike your pulse and blood pressure if consumed in a large quantity