There are few treats as luxe and indulgent as delicious dark chocolate. But a box of decadent dark chocolate is more than just an opulent treat that tantalizes the taste buds. In fact, in moderation, dark chocolate is actually quite good for you!
The drool-worthy chocolate that we know and love comes from the cacao tree, and this plant contains a surprisingly dense nutrition profile for how delicious and sweet its fruit is. Here’s what you should know about how indulging in dark chocolate is good for the body and the soul, plus how to properly reap its many rewards.
Health benefits of dark chocolate
Chocolate has had many roles throughout time, from a revered role in rituals to a go-to treat for people around the world with a hankering for something luscious and decadent. But its benefits also go far beyond its taste profile: as it turns out, there are plenty of nutrients that are found in dark chocolate that can make it a valuable (not to mention delicious) part of a healthy diet.
One of the biggest reasons you should eat more dark chocolate is because it’s an excellent source of antioxidants.
Our bodies create molecules called free radicals in response to things like pollution or through natural processes like metabolism. Unfortunately, free radicals are especially damaging to our cells. They can contribute to issues like inflammation, in which our immune system mistakenly reads our own cells as a threat and launches an attack against itself. Inflammation is linked to a wide range of health problems ranging from heart problems to gut health.
Luckily, eating plenty of antioxidants can help. Antioxidants can be thought of as the compounds that stop free radicals in their tracks. Antioxidants from foods like fruits, vegetables, and dark chocolate can neutralize the activity of those damaging free radicals, leading to better overall health and wellness.
Dark chocolate is an especially rich source of antioxidants called flavonols, which are linked to a variety of long-term health benefits. For example, dark chocolate is thought to increase your blood flow by relaxing your blood vessels, which helps optimize circulation and may even contribute to better heart health. In fact, studies have found that eating dark chocolate with flavonols every day was associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure! Other studies have also found that regular dark chocolate consumption may help improve cholesterol levels and inflammation.
Mood boost and brain health
If indulging in an opulent dark chocolate treat is a surefire way to make you feel better at the end of a long day, you aren’t alone. Not only do we love savoring the exquisite tastes of dark chocolate, but some research has also suggested that the nutrients in dark chocolate can interact directly with some of the brain chemicals which are responsible for making us feel good like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
Even better: there’s also evidence that dark chocolate can actually help improve our cognition — in other words, it may help optimize our brain activity! Dark chocolate is a good source of small amounts of caffeine, the buzzy ingredient that can help us keep awake and alert. In addition, studies have suggested that dark chocolate may help reduce both mental and physical fatigue, and may even help with memory, vitality, and other important brain functions.
Finally, dark chocolate is so much more than just an antioxidant-rich sweet treat — it’s also a good source of many other important nutrients that our bodies need for regular functioning.
Dark chocolate is a surprisingly good source of a variety of minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorous, making it an easy and delicious way to load up on the micronutrients that help keep all the areas of your body working like normal.
How to enjoy dark chocolate (the healthy way)
Eating a piece of sumptuous chocolate is good for your body, mind, and tastebuds. However, not all chocolate is made equally. Here’s what you should know about choosing the right dark chocolate to revitalize your wellness.
Choose the right chocolate.
First things first. If you’re eating chocolate to capitalize on its antioxidants and nutrients, stick with dark chocolate rather than the milk varieties.
During processing, the cocoa solids and butter that are derived from the cacao plant is often mixed with other ingredients like milk and sugar to temper its inherent bitterness. Chocolate is then categorized based off how much cocoa was used to make it versus the other ingredients.
Dark chocolate contains much less milk and other additives than other kinds of chocolate like milk chocolate, which means you get more nutrition per serving and fewer other ingredients. By definition, dark chocolate is made up of somewhere between 50-90% cocoa solids and cocoa butter, with the remaining percent made up of other ingredients and additives like milk, sugar, and other flavorings. Meanwhile, milk chocolate is made up of anywhere from 10-50% chocolate, making it much sweeter but also less nutrient-dense than dark chocolate.
So if you want to take full advantage of the powers of dark chocolate, make sure to reach for a high-quality bar!
If you’re looking for a chocolate bar that truly lets the healing powers of dark chocolate shine, reach for a treat from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Our chocolate and other ingredients are sourced from the finest ingredients Mother Nature has to offer and are carefully crafted to let all those ingredients shine.
Consider trying some of these dark chocolate products.
Moderation is key.
While dark chocolate comes with a plethora of health benefits and nourishing ingredients, it’s also worth noting that chocolate will also contain sugar, fats, and even dairy. As a result, chocolate is best eaten in moderation if you’re purely looking to capitalize on its nutrition profile. For your daily nutritious treat, stick with dark chocolate bars with higher cocoa percentages, and save the delectable milk chocolates and other sweeter treats for more occasional indulgences.
Dark chocolate is one of nature’s very best gifts. Not only is it delicious and indulgent, but it also comes packed with the nourishing ingredients that have made cacao such a valuable plant throughout the centuries. Enjoy your daily dark chocolate and nourish your mind, body, and tastebuds all at once.