The taste of dark chocolate is decadent and irresistible. Yet, some weight conscious people tend to avoid indulging in this delicious bar for its calorie content. But did you know there is more to dark chocolate than just its delectable taste and calorie content?
According to many studies dark chocolate contains numerous health benefits and is the best source of antioxidants. For its high antioxidant properties, Dark Chocolate is even listed amongst the super foods category.
Dark Chocolate is made from the roasted cocoa beans of cacao tree which is then combined with fat and sugar to make dark chocolate. It’s less sweet than milk chocolate as it contains 70% to 90% percentage of cocoa powder which gives it the bitter taste of dark chocolate.
Nutritive Content of Dark Chocolate
- Flavonoids such as Procyanidins and Epicatechins
- Essential Minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium and Manganese.
- Vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B3, C and E
- Fats like saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Dark chocolate contains good amounts of natural fats but if eaten in moderation it offers more health benefits than any regular sweet indulgence.
Now, after reading about the nutritional content of dark chocolate let’s discuss about the health benefits and uses of dark chocolate.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with multiple health beneficial nutrients and minerals that help in treating various health issues. So without further ado let us now discover the amazing health benefits of consuming the rich dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate for Weight Loss
Dark chocolate with richer content of cocoa approx 70% with no milk solids is greatly beneficial for losing weight. Mainly because the dark chocolate helps to counterintuitive the cravings and the flavanols helps to decrease the body fat.
Dark Chocolate even contains good amounts of fiber which helps to suppress the appetite and even helps to metabolize hormones. Thus, dark chocolate is beneficial in the weight loss process.
How to use dark chocolate to lose weight
Eat dark chocolate 20 minutes before and 5 minutes after lunch and dinner to cut your appetite by half.
Dark Chocolate for Brain
Dark chocolate is most popularly called as a brain food as its rich in antioxidants compounds by the name flavanols which improves the blood circulation.Dark chocolate further enhances the mental alertness and even helps to fight fatigue.
Moreover the antioxidant properties in dark chocolate protects the brain cells by neutralizing the free radical damage and even prevents premature aging of brain cells.
How to use dark chocolate for a healthy brain
Drink flavanols rich dark chocolate drink once a day or by eating dark chocolate with high cocoa content itself is beneficial for brain.
Dark Chocolate for Stress
Feeling overtly stressed? Eat dark chocolate as according to many studies worldwide dark chocolate is considered as an effective tool to manage the stress levels.
There are many health benefits and uses of dark chocolate and managing stress is one of the most helpful ones.The high cocoa content in dark chocolate helps to decrease the stress hormones called cortisol and catecholamines in highly stressed people.
Dark chocolate increases serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain resulting in improving the mood instantly.
Choosing a dark chocolate is even crucial to manage stress with delicious chocolate remedy. Try to opt for dark chocolate which contains lower quantities of unhealthy ingredients. So, select a dark chocolate variant which contains 70% cocoa.
How to Use Dark Chocolate to Manage stress levels
Moderation is the key while using dark chocolate as a remedy to manage stress as it even contains calories which can lead to weight gain.
For this researchers recommend eating one average sized dark chocolate bar approximately 1.4 ounces or 40 grams for about 2 weeks to reduce the stress levels for adults.
Dark Chocolate for Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate as a remedy to control blood sugar can be disbelieving for many people. But, yes dark chocolate has been proven to provide positive results in controlling the blood sugar levels.
According to many studies the antioxidant compounds in dark chocolate is found to reduce the insulin resistance. The flavanols in dark chocolate help the body to use insulin effectively to control the blood glucose levels.
How to use Dark Chocolate to control blood sugar levels
Eat about 1 ounce of dark chocolate every day to reap in the health benefits of dark chocolate and control blood sugar level.
Dark Chocolate for Heart
Want to have a happy and healthy heart then try the Dark Chocolate therapy. Indulging in this delicious treat is proven to protect the heart from multiple cardiovascular disorders.
Dark Chocolate is rich in powerful plant nutrients called Flavonoids which protects from the environmental toxins and repairs the damage. This potent antioxidant helps to lower the blood pressure and improves the blood flow to the heart and brain.
How to use Dark Chocolate to maintain a healthy heart
Dark chocolate lovers enjoy a moderate portion of dark chocolate approximately 1 ounce few times a week to maintain a healthy and happy heart.
Dark Chocolate for Lowering Cholesterol
The cocoa powder in dark chocolates is a good source of polyphenols which is known to provide a significant improvement in cholesterol levels.
The Flavonoids antioxidants in dark chocolate work to keep the blood platelets from sticking together to keep the arteries unclogged.
Consuming dark chocolate has even proven beneficial in increasing the HDL cholesterol and lowering the LDL cholesterol in the body.
How to use Dark Chocolate for lowering cholesterol levels
It is recommended that eating about an ounce of dark chocolate in a day can increase the good cholesterol levels and prevent the bad cholesterol from oxidizing.
Dark Chocolate for Coughs and Colds
Dark chocolate contains Theobromine which is beneficial for stopping persistent coughs. As thebromine present in cocoa powder is known to stimulate the coughing reflex effectively.
The thebromine content in dark chocolate is even known to be better and efficacious for treating coughing than codeine. Moreover, dark chocolate does not contain any side effects as well.
How to use dark chocolate for treating cold and cough
It is recommended to eat about 3 ounces of dark chocolate through out the day for getting relief from cough symptoms.
Dark Chocolate for Diarrhea
The Flavonoids found in cocoa rich dark chocolate provides a binding effect which prevents the body to secret excessive fluid. Dark chocolate even inhibits the protein in the intestines called CFTR for regulating the fluid secretion in small intestines.
Thus, dark chocolate is naturally beneficial in easing the symptoms of diarrhea.
How to treat diarrhea with Dark Chocolate
Eat some dark chocolate with higher content of cocoa as a remedy to treat diarrhea faster and effectively.
Dark Chocolate for Cancer
This superfood dark chocolate contains flavonoids a potent antioxidant. The antioxidant fights and slows down the oxidation of free radicals in bloodstream which can damage and cause cancer.
In fact, cocoa bean which is the base of dark chocolate is known to be the most concentrated source of antioxidant. These properties make dark chocolate beneficial for the cancer prevention.
How to use dark chocolate to prevent cancer
It is recommended to eat 1 serving of dark chocolate per day which is 1 ounce for gaining maximum benefits of dark chocolate and preventing cancer.
Dark Chocolate for Dementia
Loss of memory and inability to reason are some of the common symptoms of dementia. For this condition dark chocolate is proven to be extremely beneficial as its great ingredient for boosting memory.
Dark chocolate contains large amounts of antioxidants which increase the blood flow to the brain and decrease aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly people can even indulge in dark chocolate to enhance cognitive functions and mental speed.
How to use dark chocolate for preventing Dementia
Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Remedy for Dementia
- Whole Milk- 1 Cup
- Dark Chocolate- 2 Ounces
- Brown Sugar- 1 ½ tsp
- Heavy Whipping Cream- 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon Powder- 1 Pinch
- Heat milk in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- Add brown sugar in milk and stir until dissolved.
- Then add in dark chocolate in to the hot milk and stir again until the dark chocolate is well melted or for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Later remove the dark chocolate dissolved milk and add in the cream.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder and mix well.
- Enjoy this dark chocolate warm for gaining maximum health benefits.
- This process must be repeated twice a day for a month improving mental agility and preventing dementia is beneficial.
Dark Chocolate for Better Vision
Want to improve your vision indulge in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of flavonoids which increases the blood flow to the brain and retina of the eye.
Dark Chocolate is even a good source of copper which protects the eyes from damage and improves vision contrast sensitivity.
How to use dark chocolate for improving the vision
Dark Chocolate, Avocado, Spinach and Berry Mousse
Along with benefits of dark chocolate the spinach, avocados and berries will support the eye health and improve the vision.
Things we need
- Dark Chocolate- 50 Grams
- Avocados- 1 ½ Nos
- Spinach- 1 Cup
- Raspberries- 250 Grams
- Raw Cocoa Powder- ¼ Cup
- Vanilla Extract- 2 tsp
- Coconut Cream- 1/3 Cup
- Rice Malt Syrup- 14 Cup
- Firstly melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler or in microwave for 30 seconds, occasionally stir in between.
- Once the dark chocolate completely melts down remove from heat and allow the melted dark chocolate to cool slightly.
- Then take a blending jar and add in peeled and de stoned avocado pulp, raw cocoa powder, vanilla extract, coconut cream and rice malt syrup in it.
- Then blend on a high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until the ingredients are smooth.
- Then add the melted dark chocolate and raspberries into the blended mixture and blend again for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Later pour this delicious mousse in bowls and allow it set in fridge for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- This process can be repeated thrice a week for enhancing the vision and keeping eye problems like cataract at bay.
Dark Chocolate for Boosting Mood
Dark chocolate is known as a miracle food for enhancing the mood. The flavonoids content in dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins chemical in the brain which keeps one calmer and provides a feeling of contentedness.
Moreover dark chocolate even contains serotonin a chemical substance which acts as an anti-depressant.
Dark Chocolate Biscotti Remedy for Boosting Mood
Things we need
- Dark Chocolate Chips- 2/3 Cup
- Whole Wheat Flour- 2 Cups
- Flax Seeds- 2 tbsp.
- Granulated Sugar- 1/3 Cup
- Dark Brown Sugar- 1/3 Cup
- Egg Whites- 2 Nos
- Egg- 1 Nos
- Unsalted Almonds- ¾ Cup
- Baking Soda- ½ tsp
- Vanilla Extract- 1 ½ tsp
- Salt- ¼ tsp
- Parchment Paper
- Firstly pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Then take a large bowl and add in the whole wheat flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, salt in it.
- Stir well and then in a separate bowl add sugar, egg whites, egg and beat well till sugar is well dissolved.
- Then mix in the egg mixture into the flour mix and stir well.
- Make sure no lumps are formed.
- Later add in vanilla extract, almonds and dark chocolate chips and mix gently.
- Divide the dough in equal portions and roll each portion into 1 inch thick rolls.
- Arrange these rolls 3 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Later bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes or until its firm.
- Remove the rolls from baking sheet and allow it cool for 1 minute on wire rack.
- Then cut the rolls diagonally into ½ inch slices.
- Place the cut side down on baking sheet and bake it again on 325 degrees for 7 minutes on each.
- Later when biscotti are completely cooked remove from baking sheet and cool it on wire rack.
- Store in an air tight container and enjoy as and when required.
- Eating these dark chocolate biscotti in moderation is a must, and 1 to 2 slices of these dark chocolate biscotti in a day can be eaten to boost the mood.
Dark Chocolate for Healthy Skin
Did you know there are far more health benefits and uses of dark chocolate than being just a sweet treat? Yes, dark chocolate is extremely beneficial for the skin too.
Dark chocolate being the richest source of anti oxidant properties promotes blood flow and gives a healthy glow to the skin. The antioxidants even protect the skin from free radical damage, UV rays damage and fights wrinkles to make the skin appear smooth and youthful.
This delicious treat is highly beneficial for dry skin as well. As a cup of cocoa rich drink deeply moisturizes the skin and gives the skin a nice glow.
How to use dark chocolate for healthy skin
DIY Dark Chocolate, Sugar and Olive Oil Body Scrub
The combination of dark chocolate, sugar and olive oil works excellently to remove the dead skin layer and give the skin a youthful appearance.
Things we need
- Dark Chocolate- 3 to 5 Squares
- Brown Sugar- ½ Cup
- Olive Oil- ¼ Cup
- Firstly melt the dark chocolate squares on a double boiler.
- Then add olive oil and brown sugar into the melted dark chocolate.
- Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Then take the required quantity and spread it all over the body.
- Massage gently in circular motions for 2 to 3 minutes to slough off the dead skin layer, concentrating mainly on knees, heels and elbows.
- Then rinse off the dark chocolate scrub with warm water and pat the skin dry.
- This process must be repeated twice a week for smooth and youthful skin.
Dark Chocolate for Healthy Hair
Dark chocolate is proven to be very beneficial in hair treatments as it helps to grow hair faster, provides a lustrous shine to the hair and makes the hair softer.
How to Use Dark Chocolate for Healthy Hair
Deep Conditioning Dark Chocolate Hair Mask
Along with the deep conditioning properties of dark chocolate, adding banana and honey maximizes the hair care properties in this mask.
Things we need
- Dark Chocolate- 2 to 4 Squares
- Ripe Banana- 1 Medium Nos
- Raw Honey- 1 tbsp.
- Metal Fork
- Shower Cap
- Firstly melt dark chocolate in a double boiler until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Then peel a banana and mash it well with a metal fork.
- Take a bowl and add in the melted dark chocolate, mashed banana and honey.
- Mix well and spread this warm dark chocolate mixture well on the hair from tips to roots.
- Then tie up the hair in a bun and cover it with a shower cap.
- Leave on the hair mask for about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Then rinse off the hair mask with warm water thoroughly and follow up with a shampoo and conditioner routine.
- This process can be repeated once a week for healthy hair.
So, after reading about the numerous health benefits and uses of dark chocolate I guess one will stop counting the calories and indulge more for gaining maximum health benefits.
If at all any health concern prolongs over a longer period of time even after following the remedies of chocolate then it is best suggested to consult a health specialist for the same.
All of the above mentioned health benefits and remedies using dark chocolate are completely natural and very helpful in treating the various health and beauty issues.
We would love to hear from you so let us know which home remedy using dark chocolate was of best help to you.