You really can have your cake and eat it too. After reading these 15 health benefits of dark chocolate, you might just be tempted to buy a bar the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
- Improves insulin sensitivity  .
- Decreases blood pressure    .
- Improves B-cell function for better immune response .
- Improves endothelial function  .
- Lowers total and LDL cholesterol, and raises HDL cholesterol  .
- Significantly lowers C-Reactive protein, which reduces inflammation .
- Increases blood concentrations of epicatechin – a flavonoid antioxidant .
- Significantly lowers the aortic augmentation index (Alx) – a measure of arterial stiffness .
- Makes LDL cholesterol more resistant to oxidative damage .
- Induces coronary vasodilation (reduced pressure on the arteries) .
- Decreased platelet adhesion resulting from lower blood vessel damage  .
- Improves cognitive performance .
- Protects the skin from ultraviolet light (UV) .
- Improves mood and health-related quality of life [14 pdf].
- Releases phenylethylamine, dopamine, and serotonin into the body, which produce aphrodisiac effects .
The health benefits of dark chocolate are plentiful, and there are more being discovered all the time. It should be noted however that all of the dark chocolate that was studied was high in cacao content. You should be looking for cacao content up and above the 80% range. Milk chocolate is a no-no. Make sure your dark chocolate consumption fits into your calorie intake, and enjoy it in moderation.
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