It’s a common belief that dark chocolate can make you fitter, healthier and happier. People eat it when dieting or during workout breaks. Students take their exams with bars of chocolate. And chances are, you take a bite of it when you’re feeling down. But is there any scientific proof that dark chocolate is good for you? 

In fact, there is. Dark chocolate contains many nutrients that help your body and mind stay in good shape. Read on to learn more about them, and find out how exactly dark chocolate affects your health and helps you stay fit. 

Dark Chocolate Is Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from oxidative stress. This is a natural process that occurs in your body every day when you inhale oxygen and eat food. Antioxidants help your body fight the damage caused by the oxidative stress. 

Dark chocolate has many antioxidants that help your body fight free radicals, such as catechins, flavonols, and polyphenols. These antioxidants can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improve brain functions, and even reduce the risk of cancer. Dark chocolate contains more of them than any other food product. 

Dark Chocolate Is Rich in Proteins

While most people think about protein powders and meat when they hear about proteins, dark chocolate also contains a lot of them. Some types of dark chocolate contain as much as 30% protein. Despite this large amount, these chocolates are very low in calories and carbs, which makes them perfect for those who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet. 

Proteins are essential for building new cells. They help your muscles grow and repair themselves after a workout. Proteins also help you look younger and fight wrinkles. In addition to that, proteins help your brain work better, improve memory, and keep you sharper as you age. 

Dark Chocolate Is Rich in Minerals

Chocolate rich in minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. These minerals play an important role in many functions in your body, such as blood clotting and blood pressure regulation, nervous system function, and brain health. 

Dark Chocolate Helps You Stay Fitter & Healthier

With its high amount of nutrients and beneficial compounds, dark chocolate can really help you stay fitter and healthier. It is a pleasure to eat and will help you stave off cravings of unhealthy foods you may otherwise be tempted to consume.

Of course, to stay fit you will need to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle. But eating dark chocolate regularly and in moderation can be a productive addition to your exercise or work-out routine.

Dark Chocolate Helps You Lose Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be tempted to cut out chocolate entirely. That’s not the best idea. Dark chocolate can help you stick to your diet and lose weight faster. It contains antioxidants and other compounds that help your body fight off free radicals, which cause cell damage. 

Research has shown that people who eat low-calorie dark chocolate every day have a lower body fat percentage and smaller waist sizes than people who don’t eat it. Another study found that consuming dark chocolate daily helped overweight people lose more weight than people who ate less chocolate. 

Dark Chocolate Can Help Your Body Fight Infections

Free radicals aren’t only bad for your fat cells – they can also damage your white blood cells and make your body vulnerable to infection. This is particularly dangerous for people with an weakened immune system or chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. 

In a similar study to this one, researchers gave participants either 50 grams of high-antioxidant dark chocolate or white chocolate every day for 3 weeks before an influenza vaccine. The researchers found that the people who ate the dark chocolate developed a stronger response to the vaccine, meaning their bodies were better prepared to fight off infection. 

Dark Chocolate Is Good for Your Heart

High levels of cholesterol are linked to cardiovascular disease. Eating too much cholesterol can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Fortunately, dark chocolate can help lower cholesterol levels in your blood. In fact, eating dark chocolate regularly has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels by up to 10%. 

The Takeaway

A lot of research has been conducted on chocolate, its nutritional value as well as its potential health benefits. While claims such as ‘chocolate can help reduce the risk of cancer’ or ‘chocolate can boost the immune system’ are based on a generous extrapolation of the data we have, we can confidently say that –  when consumed in moderation, dark chocolate has many positive effects on both the body and the brain.