Dark chocolate is really good for your health. Yes, you read it right! Dark chocolate is not only a delicious treat it also brings a host of health benefits.

It has been scientifically proven that cocoa, the bitter seeds from which chocolate is made, contains the highest concentration of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and protect you against cellular damage from the oxidative stress of these free radicals.

A bar of dark chocolate contains fiber, and is loaded with minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Here is a look at the science-proven health benefits of dark chocolate.

Heart healthy
According to a 2012 study in the journal BMJ, daily consumption of dark chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in some high-risk patients. It is well documented in researches that compounds in dark chocolate are highly protective against the oxidation of LDL (“bad” cholesterol). These compounds prevent the cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, thus minimizing your risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Controls blood sugar
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds like flavonoids that help keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation proper to protect against diabetes and obesity. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce body’s insulin resistance and regain the body’s ability to use insulin efficiently.

Reduces risk of colon cancer
Dark chocolate contains cocoa polyphenols that reduce the risk of colorectal cancer- the uncontrolled cell growth in the colon or rectum.

Improves brain function
It has been proved in previous researches that dark chocolate has the potential to improve the function of the brain. Consuming high-flavanol cocoa can also dramatically improve cognitive function in mentally-impaired elderly people. The stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine in cocoa play the role in improving brain function.

Protects skin against the Sun
Studies have shown that the bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may protect against sun-induced damage. The studies show that flavanols from cocoa improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against the Sun’s harmful UV rays.

Makes you slim
Surprising, eh? A 2012 study published the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who eat chocolate regularly (five times per week or more) are more likely to be slimmer than those who don””t eat or eat less frequently.

The takeaway message is: The darker the chocolate, the better it is for your health!

Hey it””s Chocolate Day! And, now you have a strong reason to indulge yourself or give dark chocolate to your wife or girlfriend this special day!

Edited by Neelam Goswami on 10-02-2014.

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