The science bit
According to Science Daily, recent studies show there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate with high cacao content, at least 70% cacao, with around 30% organic cane sugar. It can help decrease stress levels and inflammation, and positively impact on mood, memory, and the immune system. As cacao is a major source of flavonoids, it can support cognitive, endocrinal and cardiovascular health. (Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180424133628.htm)
The research showed that you should choose chocolate with a cacao percentage of at least 70% for these benefits to affect your body. In the first study, cacao consumption at this percentage was found to regulate signalling pathways involved in T-cells, cellular immune response, and neural signalling sensory perception. Meanwhile, the second study revealed that 70% cocoa chocolate enhances neuroplasticity for behavioural and brain benefits.
Flavonoids and our bodies
Eating chocolate doesn’t just make you feel less stressed, the flavonoids in cacao have been found to do everything from improving your memory and mood to having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body that helps prevent cancer and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease.
Which type of chocolate is best?
It is important to control your intake of sugar, in order to reduce the risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease and obesity.
For optimal health benefits, you'll want to go for very dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa solids possible, with 70 to 85% cocoa solids (which only contain 6.7g of sugar). moderately dark chocolate with 60 to 69% cocoa solids contains 10.3g of sugar.
Milk chocolate’s sugar content is much higher at 14.4g per ounce, whilst white chocolate is truly the worst choice with 17g of sugar per ounce, providing none of the benefits of cocoa, as it doesn’t contain any.
So, there you have it, the darker the chocolate, the better for your health!
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