Dark chocolate, known for its distinctive bitter-sweet flavor, is often touted as a healthier alternative to its milk or white counterparts. But what exactly happens when you enjoy this indulgent treat on a daily basis? Let’s find out.
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The Key Takeaway
Dark chocolate, particularly in varieties with a high cocoa content, is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can support heart health, boost brain function, and even improve mood. However, as it’s also calorie-dense and can be high in sugar, therefore, moderation is key to reaping these benefits without negative impacts on your health.
What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Dark Chocolate Every Day
1. You’ll Get a Nutrient Boost
Dark chocolate is a nutrient-rich food. Interestingly, According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.
It has substantial amounts of iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Furthermore, it’s quite rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among others.
2. Your Heart Health Could Improve
Research suggests that the flavonoids found in dark chocolate can have a positive impact on heart health. These powerful antioxidants can aid in reducing blood pressure, decreasing the risk of blood clots, and improving blood flow to the heart and brain.
However, these heart-healthy benefits are often associated with high-quality dark chocolate — that is, chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa and minimal added sugars.
3. You Might Get an Antioxidant Boost
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants combat oxidative stress in the body, which can damage cells and contribute to chronic disease development.
Interestingly, some studies have shown that dark chocolate has more antioxidant activity than some high-antioxidant fruits like blueberries and acai berries.
4. It Could Improve Your Mood
Eating dark chocolate every day may also have positive effects on your mood. This is primarily due to a compound called phenylethylamine, which your body converts into serotonin, a brain chemical associated with feelings of happiness.
Moreover, the rich, satisfying flavor of dark chocolate can also create a pleasurable eating experience that enhances mood.
5. It Might Boost Your Brain Function
Studies have shown that the flavonoids in dark chocolate may improve various aspects of brain function. They can stimulate blood flow to the brain, potentially improving cognitive function and reducing the risk of stroke.
In addition, the small amount of caffeine in dark chocolate can enhance brain function in the short term, improving alertness and performance on mental tasks.
6. It May Contribute to Weight Gain
While dark chocolate has many potential health benefits, it’s also high in calories and can contain significant amounts of sugar. Therefore, eating it in excess every day without considering portion control could contribute to weight gain.
As a result, it’s best to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
7. You May Improve Your Skin Health
Dark chocolate is also a decent source of vitamins and minerals, some of which can benefit your skin. For instance, its high content of antioxidants and flavonols can protect your skin against damage from free radicals and improve blood flow, leading to healthier skin over time.
All in all, eating dark chocolate every day can offer numerous health benefits, from improving heart health to boosting mood and brain function. However, as with any food, moderation is key.
For the healthiest choice, aim for high-quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70-85% or higher) and minimal added sugars. By doing so, you can savor the rich taste of dark chocolate and reap its health benefits without overindulging.