It is now time to transfer the dark chocolates from your pantry to your medicine cabinet because a number of studies claim that these delicious treats can work as natural medicines for various health problems. It is the flavonoid-rich cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, which is responsible for the medicinal properties of dark chocolate. However, to reap the maximum health benefit of cocoa, do not eat dark chocolate with milk, because milk inhibits absorption of the antioxidants present in dark chocolate. When you are taking dark chocolate as a medicine, eat 7 grams of high quality dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa daily.
Eating Dark Chocolate Can Help You With The Following Health Problems
Dark chocolate is a natural medicine for people suffering from hypertension. It helps in lowering both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. The blood pressure lowering effect of dark chocolate is attributed to the cocoa phenols, which are believed to help in improving the function of the epithelial cells that help in restoring the normal relaxation capacity of the blood vessels.
Coronary Artery Disease
The antioxidant flavonoids found in dark chocolates help in fighting oxidation of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad cholesterol, thereby preventing formation of plague in the coronary arteries. Furthermore, the cocoa flavanols help in reducing stickiness of the platelets that helps in easing blood circulation. Hence, people suffering from coronary artery disease can include dark chocolate in their heart friendly diet.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate is a natural medicine for stress. Eating dark chocolate daily for up to two weeks helps in reducing the high level of the stress hormone. Excess production of the stress hormone is not only bad for your emotional health but it also causes hormonal imbalance and increases risk of chronic health problems.
The cocoa flavanol found in dark chocolate can also help in improving cognitive function. The antioxidant effect of the cocoa compound helps in preventing degeneration of the brain cells that causes age-related cognitive impairment including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, by improving blood circulation in the brain, dark chocolate helps in maintaining the optimal function of the brain.
Type 2 Diabetes
Dark chocolate helps in reducing insulin resistance. The cocoa flavanols work by increasing bioavaiability of nitric oxide, which helps in improving insulin sensitivity and increases glucose uptake, thereby bringing down the high blood sugar level.