Dark chocolate doesn’t have any extra milk solids added to it. The main ingredients are cocoa beans, sugar, emulsifiers like soy lecithin to keep the texture, and flavorings like vanilla. Dark chocolate tastes bitter and has more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate. A small amount is considered a healthy snack. Because of its taste, it is often used to melt and bake a wide range of sweets.
What is Dark Chocolate?
To be called dark chocolate, chocolate must have at least 50% cocoa solids, butter, and sugar. It can’t have milk, though. Dark chocolate is good for the gut, in particular. It gives you energy and helps some good bacteria grow in your stomach. Dark chocolate has natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals that may benefit the gut, heart, brain, and overall health.
Green tea and red wine have more antioxidants than dark chocolate. It has ingredients that could help you better control your insulin, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve the way your brain works. But some dark chocolate has a lot of chemicals and sugar that have been processed.
Nutritive Value of Dark Chocolate
Regarding nutrients, dark chocolate comprises 46% carbs, 43% fats, 8% protein, and 1% water. Dark chocolate has a lot of minerals, like iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It has more than 20% of these minerals’ Daily Value (DV). One ounce of dark chocolate has between 70% and 85% cocoa solids.
- Calories: 170
- Protein: 2 gm
- Fat: 12 gm
- Sugar: 7 gm
- Fiber: 3 gm
- Carbohydrates: 13 gm
- Iron: 12.02 gm
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Cardiovascular and Blood Pressure
Flavanols are a type of polyphenol that can be found in chocolate. Theobromine is a natural substance that can also be found in cocoa. Studies have shown that people with and without a history of health problems have better blood vessel function, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease.
The best chocolate for lowering high blood pressure is bittersweet dark chocolate, high in cocoa solids. Dark chocolate can assist in preventing clots and lower blood pressure thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-clot, and anti-hypertensive properties.
The two main parts of cholesterol count are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). A lack of HDL and too much LDL (the bad cholesterol) can accumulate cholesterol in the artery’s inner walls, increasing the risk of heart disease and other diseases. Dark chocolate lowers LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels when you wake up by a lot. But dark chocolate is good for more than just LDL.
Boosts sensitivity to insulin
Flavanols are parts of plants that have many health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. By lowering oxidative stress, flavanols can also improve how the body uses glucose, increase insulin sensitivity, and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Long-term, these ways of treating insulin resistance may make it less likely that someone will get diabetes.
Fiber and Nutrient
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has a lot of good things for you. Cocoa and dark chocolate both have fiber, which helps the intestines move. Fiber helps keep your digestive system in good shape and stops and relieves constipation. It has a lot of iron, magnesium, copper, as well as manganese in it.
It also has small amounts of calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, E, and K. A typical 100-gram bar of dark chocolate has 10 grams (or 3.5 ounces) of fiber, which is good for your digestive system. Most dark chocolate also has minimal cocoa butter, a source of oleic acid, a lipid good for your heart.
Dark chocolate has been linked to happiness and joy for a long time. Chemicals called polyphenolic chemicals could be to blame for these feelings. A type of antioxidant called polyphenols can lower cortisol. So, eating dark chocolate might be able to make you feel better.
When you eat 40 grams of chocolate every day, your levels of catecholamine and cortisol go down a lot (stress hormones). Because of this, people with high blood pressure and anxiety are told to eat 80-85% dark chocolate.
Keeping free radicals from causing disease
One of the benefits of eating chocolate is that it may be able to fight free radicals, which are harmful substances made by the body’s cells and can cause inflammation and long-term diseases. People think antioxidants fight free radicals and protect the body from damage and disease.
There are many antioxidants in dark chocolate. Flavonoids and polyphenols are just two of them. It has been shown that cocoa, in specific, has a higher amount of polyphenols and flavonoids than both wine and tea.
Boost the brain’s activity.
Dark chocolate may also improve how well the brain works. Studies show that young people who eat chocolate with many flavanols get more blood in their brains. This may help explain why cocoa seems to help people learn languages, remember things, and pay attention.
Also, cocoa flavonoids may assist older people with mild cognitive impairment to keep their mental abilities and make it less likely that they will get dementia. Also, cocoa has a lot of stimulants like theobromine, which could be a big reason why it temporarily makes you smarter.
Is 70% dark chocolate good for you?
Dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate since it has more flavonoids, antioxidants, protein, and fiber. It also has less sugar and more protein and fiber. Always choose the chocolate with the most cocoa you can handle. The chocolate that is better for you has a higher percentage, but it will be less sweet and more bitter.
People who aren’t eating it for health reasons will often choose the unhealthy option because it tastes sweeter and more like candy. Dark chocolate is a great snack because it should have at least 70% cocoa beans, the minimum amount.
Is Dark chocolate vegan food?
Dark chocolate is made from the fatty part of the cocoa bean and has a high cocoa content. It tastes rich and full. It is also the most beneficial and vegan-friendly choice because it has a lot of antioxidants, is low in sugar, and doesn’t have any dairy. Vegans can eat most dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is a kind of chocolate that contains only cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Milk chocolate doesn’t have either of those things. Dark chocolate has a much higher percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate. Most vegan-friendly dark chocolates have up to 70% cocoa.