Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? What Does Science Say!

Dark Chocolate has been gaining an excellent reputation in the world of foodies for a few years. But, Is dark chocolate good for your health? Most chocolate lovers and health-conscious people have this question.

So, is dark chocolate healthy? 

Yes, the fact is dark chocolate is much more interesting apart from being advantageous to health. The reality is dark chocolate is good for you but not all types of dark chocolate are the same. Some of the dark chocolates can have side effects too. So, it all depends on the amount and percentage of Cocoa, sugar and trans fat in the dark chocolate that you are eating.

In this article, we will be covering the full list of benefits and side effects of eating dark chocolate.

What is Dark Chocolate Made up of?

Before answering the query, whether dark chocolate is healthy or not, it is important to know about dark chocolate ingredients, first along with its nutritional facts. 

Some interesting facts about chocolate – Infographic

Ingredients

Cocoa beans are the main ingredient of dark chocolate. These beans grow on a cocoa trees and then are crushed to  make cocoa powder. After passing through the process of drying and fermenting, these beans are used to make dark chocolate.

The fermentation process is the reason why some dark chocolate bars taste different from others. The flavor comes from the bean itself so where it was grown and how it is fermented makes the taste different. 

Some of the dark chocolates also contain added sugar and fats. 

Dark Chocolate Nutrition

A 28-gram bar of dark chocolate contains 155 calories in it. Here is someone starting nutritional facts about dark chocolate.

Nutrients% Daily Values
Total fat 8.9 g14%
Cholesterol 2.3 mg1%
Sodium 6.8 mg0%
Carbohydrates 17 g6%
Dietary fiber 2 g8%
Sugar 14 g
Protein 1.4 g
Calcium 16 mg1%
Iron 2 mg13%
Potassium 158 mg3%
Caffeine 12.2 mg

The percentage of all these nutrients and their combination in different types of dark chocolate bars decide whether they are healthy or not.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? Pros & Cons!

Dark Chocolate contains a lot of healthy nutrients that are good for your health. Consumption of dark chocolate makes you feel healthy and energetic. 

The other name of dark chocolate is love drug. Because it arouses the same feelings in a person as if one is in love. In addition to it, dark chocolate contains vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, caffeine, and other natural antioxidants.

How dark the chocolate is depends upon the amount of cocoa beans in it.  Here are some scientifically proven beneficial health effects of dark chocolate along with a few drawbacks of eating too much dark chocolate.

Benefits

According to a recent discovery, dark chocolate has several health benefits. Scientific researchers discovered that the nutrients present in dark chocolate are beneficial for the human body in the following different ways.

Improves  Heart Health

 According to  some studies,if you are eating dark chocolate a few times a week it can help reduce your blood pressure, regulate  blood flow, and help prevent clot formation in blood vessels. 

So, Is dark chocolate good for your heart? Yes,it is evident that if you eat dark chocolate, it  also reduces the risk of many diseases including arteriosclerosis. So, it reduce the risk of many diseases that are related to heart.

Helps in Weight Loss

Is dark chocolate good for weight loss? Most people get surprised to know that chocolate can help you burn excess calories. Dark chocolate has the ability to make you feel that you’re not hungry for a long time.

So, by including some squares  of dark chocolate in your sweet dish, you can fulfill your cravings for chocolate. Along with that, by reducing your intake of calories, you can lose weight.

Reduces Stress

Dark Chocolate stimulates the production of happy hormones. These hormones are called endorphins. Our brain produces these hormones. These are the chemicals that give you the feelings of happiness. It also contains the hormone serotonin which acts to manage your stress levels.

Hence, dark chocolate can improve your mood, ultimately helping in weight loss too.

Provides Vitamins and Minerals

Dark Chocolate contains various vitamins and minerals that play a part in supporting and maintaining your health.Potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron are common among these nutrients.

Copper and potassium help prevent heart diseases and stroke. Iron in chocolate is good if you have iron deficiency anemia. Magnesium helps pre prevent 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Curb Your Cravings

Research proves that dark chocolate has an ability to make your stomach full, so that you don’t eat anything extra. They contain a good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. They boost up your metabolism and help burn fat.

When you eat dark chocolate in a moderate quantity, it slows down your digestion process and curbs your cravings.

Enhances Your Focus

One of the most wonderful benefits of dark chocolate is that it can supply more blood to your brain so that you can focus on your task.

So, if you have an exam or you need to stay focused at work, snacking on some chocolate can help you to improve your memory and boosts your brain abilities.

Protects Your Skin

Most people ask, Is dark chocolate good for your skin? Yes, dark chocolate is very beneficial for healthy and glowing skin.

Dark Chocolate improves blood flow which  is very good for the health of your skin. Eating a  few squares  of dark chocolate every day can keep your skin radiant. It can also prevent sun damage.

Reduces Inflammation

Antioxidants present in dark chocolate protect you against heart diseases. They also protect your body against other diseases by balancing out the damage that free radicals cause to your body cells.

These antioxidants are very good to prevent inflammation. That reduces the damage and breakdown in the body that is caused by free radicals and combats diseases.

Side Effects

You can only have the benefits of dark chocolate when you eat in moderation. Otherwise, it can have the following side effects.

Harmful Effects of Caffeine

The percentage of caffeine is higher in dark chocolate as compared to  both milk chocolate and white chocolate. According to research, consuming high amounts of caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains and even migraines.

Caffeine can also cause an abnormal rise in blood pressure. In large doses, it can result in difficulty in focus or concentration. It can also cause insomnia. So you should not eat too much dark chocolate before getting to sleep. 

Risk of Kidney Stones

Dark Chocolates may increase your chances of kidney stones. It is an unpleasant condition that causes hard deposits of salts and minerals to form in your kidneys. 

Dark Chocolate contains compounds called oxalates, which can put you at more risk of developing kidney stones. If you have been diagnosed with any kind of kidney problem, you should avoid eating dark chocolate.

Migraine Headaches

Anyone who suffers from chronic migraine should think twice before eating dark chocolate. There is a natural chemical, found in dark chocolate called tyramine, that triggers migraine headaches.

If it is high in sugar, it can also cause headaches. So it is best to avoid dark chocolate if you have a migraine or headaches.

Dark Chocolate Vs Milk chocolate

White chocolate or milk chocolate does not have any cocoa beans in it. It contains  cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. So, it is just  a sugar bomb  and it does not have the same amount of nutrients as dark chocolate has.

It is basically that you take dark chocolate and add a lot of sugar and milk to it, which brings down all its health benefits. On the other hand, dark chocolate contains millions of health benefits. It contains 70 perfect cocoa. 

This higher amount of cocoa is responsible for its health benefits. Because, higher the cocoa percentage, the more flavonoids it will contain. That means a higher antioxidant potential and a lower risk of diseases.

So, is dark chocolate healthy? Yes, definitely it is! Dark chocolate has more advantages compared to its side effects. Hence, it can be considered as a healthy food. 

FAQs

Question: How much dark chocolate should I eat a day?

Answer: According to some studies, it is better to eat an ounce of dark chocolate three to four  times a week. This moderate amount of dark chocolate can help your body digest the food you consume,  inhibit insulin resistance, and provide many other health benefits.

Question: why is dark chocolate bad for you?

Answer: Dark Chocolate can be bad for you if you eat too much of it. This is because the high amount of caffeine in dark chocolate can cause insomnia and can trigger headaches.

Question: which dark chocolate is healthiest?

Answer: The dark chocolate that contains 70 perfect or more cocoa is the healthiest. This is because the high amount of cocoa increases the number of antioxidants in the chocolate that is good for your health.

Question: Is dark chocolate healthier than milk chocolate?

Answer: Yes, dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate as milk chocolate contains a lot of added sugar, milk, and butter which are not good for health and can cause weight gain.

Bottom Line

Is dark chocolate healthy? Yes, adding dark chocolate to your diet can be a great option for a healthy lifestyle, but remember, that a high amount of dark chocolate can cause a caffeine overdose that can be dangerous for your health.

A key point to remember, while eating dark chocolate is to make sure that it is dark chocolate with a good percentage of cocoa and is not high in added sugar and fats.

Haleema Sadia

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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