Eating dark chocolate doesn't have to be a guilty pleasure any longer! The delicious treat may be one of the best things to consume on a daily basis as more studies discover its health benefits.
Dark Chocolate: The Super Food
Dark chocolate, also known as "plain chocolate," has a higher percentage of cocoa solids and very little to no dairy products.
Dark chocolate has always been considered a "super food" due to its many benefits. Many diet and fitness experts suggest that people should incorporate dark chocolate into their regimen. It has also been considered the "healthier" alternative to its counterpart, milk chocolate.
A new study shows that dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao can help boost a person's memory. The study also says it can help a person increase immunity levels and decrease stress levels.
Dr. Lee S. Berk of Loma Linda University and his team conducted two studies showing that large amounts of cacao in a regular chocolate bar has a positive impact on a person.
One study focused on the impact of 70 percent cacao chocolate consumption on the human immune system and the dendritic cell gene expression. The findings show that eating the chocolate increased T-Cell activation, cellular immune responses and gene involved with neural signaling and sensory perception increased.
The other study showed that behavioral and brain health increased with the consumption of the chocolate.
"These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects," Berk stated.
Berk stressed, however, that more research is needed on a larger population to confirm these new findings.
What Else Can Dark Chocolate Do?
In addition to the recent findings of this study, dark chocolate has also been found to lower a person's blood pressure and the risk of getting diabetes. It could also prevent various diseases from occurring such as certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and age-related degenerative disorders. For women, dark chocolate is said to help with menstrual cramps.
Dark chocolate can also help increase a person's sex drive, assist with weight loss, and can also be good for the heart as it contains a substantial amount of fiber and heart-healthy antioxidants.
Another recent study shows that dark chocolate can help a person sleep better at night.