The benefits of dark chocolate to health are many. If cocoa is consumed in its purest form, dark chocolate, it can have many positive benefits to health, mind, and body. These benefits include enhanced mood enhancement, brain function, increased blood flow, lower blood pressure, and heart disease prevention. 

Chocolate, cocoa, or cacao is derived from the cacao bean of the cacao plant. Its uses for human consumption can be traced back as early as two and a half millennia. The ancient native cultures of the Americas, the Aztec, the Inca, and the Maya are believed to have prepared the cacao bean for consumption as early as 600 B.C.

Cacao was one of the many discoveries of the Christopher Columbus voyage to the Americas in 1492.

Columbus and his men returned to Spain with this new exotic discovery, and the Spanish then began to prepare it for consumption, and discover the medicinal benefits of cocoa consumption.

Later in the renaissance times, cocoa was brought to Holland from the Americas where doctors discovered dark chocolate could be a cure for many ailments.

 1. Dark Chocolate Enhances Mood

Blonde woman portrait eating chocolate against grunge background Many people crave chocolate when they are feeling down.

Dark chocolate, in its richest and purest form, is shown to have the best effect for enhancing mood. One of the reasons for the mood altering properties of dark chocolate is that dark chocolate aids the body in the production of endorphins.

These are the natural chemicals produced by the brain during exercise. Dark chocolate can also produce these same neurotransmitters, leading to an enhanced mood and overall good feeling.

2. Dark Chocolate Has Antidepressant Effects

Happy woman Dark chocolate consumption has been shown to enhance the production of serotonin, another neurotransmitter in the brain. Serotonin levels is thought to be the key chemical associated with depression.

Pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs in the SSRI category are responsible for regulating serotonin balance and production.

By consuming dark chocolate, serotonin production is increased, thereby giving the brain a similar effect of prescription SSRIs. It is also believed that increased blood flow to the brain will have an antidepressant effect.

3. Dark Chocolate Supprimes Anxiety

Organic Dark Chocolate Candy Bar Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, possibly causing or effecting each other. This is because anxiety and depression disorders are believed to both stem from the same chemical imbalance of serotonin.

Since dark chocolate is proven to naturally aid in the production of serotonin and enhance blood flow to the brain, it is believed to also reduce anxiety levels.

Dark chocolate can have a relaxation and calming effect to those whose serotonin imbalance manifests as anxiety symptoms.

4. Dark Chocolate Improves Focus

Side view of an artist using computer with colleagues behind at the office

Dark chocolate can improve focus by increasing blood flow in the brain. Dark chocolate sharpens concentration also because of the natural caffeine that stimulates the mind.

It is believed that the enhanced production of endorphins and serotonin will also help the mind with focus because of its chemical balancing properties previously described.

Balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain along with stimulant effects of caffeine will help reduce distracting thoughts, thereby helping the brain stay focused on the task at hand.

5. Dark Chocolat Increases Alterness

Chocolate seduction Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain and sharpens thinking and alertness. Dark chocolate contains natural caffeine that can enhance energy in the mind and body, alleviating symptoms of fatigue.

By regulating neurotransmitters and balancing chemicals, the mind is better able to remain alert, and fight feelings of tiredness, and cloudiness of the mind.

6. Dark Chocolat Improves Memory

Sensual woman inserting card into her head

By increasing blood flow to the brain, dark chocolate consumption can help the mind have a better memory.

Benefits to long term and short term memory are proven to be enhanced by consuming dark chocolate.

The endorphins, neurotransmitters, and blood flow work together to increase overall brain function, and help to reduce forgetfulness.

7. Dark Chocolate Reduces Brain Damage

Chocolate pieces

Dark chocolate can reduce the naturally occurring damage to the brain as old age sets in. It does so in two ways.

First, dark chocolate is naturally full of antioxidants. These antioxidants can help protect the brain from the progression of damages that leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in old age.

Secondly, the increased blood flow, hormonal, and neurotransmitter benefits previously described work together to improve overall brain health.

8. Dark Chocolate Fight Heart Diseases

chocolate heart on lips

Dark chocolate has been shown in research to aid in the prevention of heart disease. The previously described enhanced blood flow to the brain stems from the overall increased blood flow in the body.

Overall circulation is increased in the cardiovascular system, reducing the likelihood of heart disease. Studies suggests dark chocolate consumption reduces bad cholesterol that contributes to heart disease.

Consuming dark chocolate can benefit in reducing cholesterol that can clog the arteries and cause heart disease. By keeping the arteries open and reducing bad cholesterol, improved circulation or blood flow can help fight off hardening of the arteries and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States of America.

In addition to heart disease prevention, this increased circulation will also reduce the likelihood of strokes which are caused by blood clots.

9. Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

Because of the blow flow and circulation benefits, dark chocolate can actually help lower blood pressure. Many adults in midlife suffer from high blood pressure and heart health concerns.

By consuming dark chocolate, blood pressure can be reduced in two ways.

First, the cardiovascular benefits related to heart health will result in overall decreased blood pressure.

Secondly, the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression will also have an effect on blood pressure. Heightened blood pressure stems from heredity, diet, and nervous system complications such as anxiety.

By consuming dark chocolate, the heredity factors contributing to high blood pressure can be combated naturally by reducing stress, improving blood flow, and assisting to reduce arterial cholesterol buildup that restricts blood flow and increases blood pressure in the body.

Final Thought

With all the benefits of dark chocolate to the mind, body, and overall health, it is not coincidence that Renaissance researchers in Holland described chocolate as a, “cure for all ailments.”  Not only is dark chocolate a wonderful remedy and health marvel, it is absolutely delicious! Dark chocolate is truly a gift in respect to its pharmaceutical, therapeutic, and culinary uses.

The health, brain, and body benefits are all naturally occurring in dark chocolate. This makes dark chocolate a good choice for many who prefer homeopathic and chiropractic solutions.

Dark chocolate can be prepared and consumed in a number of different ways. In it’s powder form, it can be added to water or milk and sweetened to enjoy warm or cold.

The powder can also be used in baking confectionary treats.

Dark chocolate can be prepared as a syrup and added to desserts, culinary delights, or any other creative recipe. Dark chocolate is truly a delicacy, and a wonder drug in respects to the taste, and multiple health benefits of dark chocolate consumption.

Why We Love Dark Chocolate (And You Should, Too!)
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