One word – chocolate. It’s not shocking that about 80% of adults consume chocolate around the world each year. Let’s face it, chocolate is a guilty pleasure we’ve all indulged in at least once or twice during a stressful week, or a week worth celebrating!
In recent times, dark chocolate is growing especially popular, especially as we learn more about the surprising health benefits that come with it! It certainly ranks higher on the healthy scale than milk and dark chocolate, though some believe its bitterness makes it an acquired taste.
Either way, as culinary experts, we’re always happy to look into the background of certain foods and give our audience a breakdown on which foods to limit intake of, and which to incorporate into your diet. Here are the surprising benefits of dark chocolate!
1. Promotes Better Blood Flow
Dark chocolate is full of flavanols, which are found in plants like the cacao trees that cocoa beans are made from. Dark chocolate contains around 3x more flavanols than any other type of chocolate. These flavanols are related to producing nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow while also relaxing your blood vessels.
In turn, this may lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Improving blood flow can also relate to better cognitive function. We’re not saying dark chocolate makes you smarter, but it can help you think quicker, make better decisions, and help you in remembering important things!
2. It’s more likely to be non-dairy
Did you know that nearly 50% of Americans are lactose intolerant? This means that they can have digestive issues when it comes to eating dairy products, like milk, cheese, yogurt, and more.
The great news is, dark chocolate is often made without any dairy, meaning it’s a perfectly acceptable treat for lactose intolerant folks, in addition to those who are vegan, or have other dairy allergies. Either way, if you’re looking for a non-dairy treat, dark chocolate may be the right choice for you! Just be sure to check the label on the back of the product, as many dark chocolates are produced in a facility with white and milk chocolate, as well.
3. It’s high in fiber
Another surprising benefit of dark chocolate is the amount of fiber packed in it! Just one ounce of dark chocolate contains about four grams of fiber. Fiber is great for maintaining bowel health, lowering cholesterol levels, and even helps control blood sugar levels.
Dark chocolate is also known to boost your mood, making it a great way to end your meal, or perfect for a midday snack.
Are you looking for help incorporating better foods into your diet, or looking for assistance accommodating special dietary restrictions, allergies, or preferences? We can help!
At SAVOR, we firmly believe in culinary medicine, and love that we get to help clients each and every day as they start their journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Contact us today for more information!