As if you need another reason to eat chocolate! We know dark chocolate is one of a number of foods containing antioxidant-rich compounds known as flavonoids, which have been shown to improve heart health.
Well, three studies now show that eating dark chocolate has even more health benefits. Here’s the scoop:
Reason 1: Dark chocolate can decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of developing diabetes in healthy individuals. I’m in!
The research: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating dark chocolate reduced insulin resistance and significantly lowered blood pressure. Doctors don’t know exactly how much dark chocolate you need to reap these health benefits, it’s best not to overdo it. Try dipping 4 to 5 strawberries in dark chocolate, or limit yourself to 1 or 2 dark chocolate wedges as an occasional treat.
My personal favorite – The large Lindt dark chocolate bars with chili. Oh man, these are delightful with a tiny bit of heat. Another good one is flavored with orange. You can buy them at Wal-Mart or Walgreen.
Reason 2: Dark chocolate may be an anti-inflammatory.
The research: A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that dark chocolate improves health, including heart health. It significantly reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance that is an indicator of inflammation in the body, which helps determine the risk for developing coronary disease. Thus, dark chocolate may have “anti-inflammatory” properties.
Reason 3: Dark chocolate may help you lose weight.
The research: A University of Copenhagen study found that dark chocolate gives people more of a feeling of satiety than milk chocolate. Two and a half hours after eating either the dark or milk chocolate in two separate sessions, the participants were instructed to eat as much pizza as they liked until they felt comfortably full. As it turned out, the calorie intake from the pizza was 15 percent lower on the day they ate the dark chocolate. And it gets better! The participants also stated their cravings for sweet, salty, or fatty foods had lessened as well.
Source: South Beach Daily Dish.