Before you begin your search for the very best dark chocolate on the planet, take some time to learn the facts about your favorite sweet treat. By now, you've probably heard that dark chocolate has health benefits, but you may still be pretty skeptical that something so delicious and sweet can actually be good for you. Wasn't chocolate always at the top of the food pyramid with the fats and sugars? Weren't you taught to avoid that food group for fear of cavities, high blood sugar, weight gain, and other dangerous physical issues? Disregard what you learned about chocolate in the past, and read on to find out the truth about the proven health benefits of dark chocolate.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
- Chocolate is made from the seed of the cocoa tree and is one of the top sources of antioxidants in existence. It is full of organic compounds that act as antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, catechins. Antioxidants are beneficial in that they delay or even prevent some kinds of cell damage in the body.
- A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa contains 67% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of iron and 11 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy diet; it helps control blood sugar levels, regulates bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels, and decreases the risk of stroke. Iron is the substance in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron also helps skin, hair, and nails stay healthy.
- The fats in dark chocolate are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with only small amounts of polyunsaturates. Saturated fatty acids play a key role in maintaining heart health, lowering cholesterol in the blood, and are required for calcium to be made into bone.
- Studies have shown that dark chocolate can reduce insulin resistance, which is a common risk factor for diabetes.
- An observational study has revealed that consuming chocolate two or more times a week lowered the risk of calcified plaque building up in the arteries by 32%.
- Dark chocolate has been found to protect the body against the oxidation of bad cholesterol.
- Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not contain high levels of caffeine.
It is estimated that at least 7.2 million metric tons of chocolate are consumed worldwide each year. The United States alone accounts for 20% of that consumption. British, Swiss, and German individuals will eat twice the amount of chocolate that Americans eat in a year; each at around 24 pounds of chocolate per year.
Whether you plan to simply eat it, use chocolate for baking, or sell it in your own professional chocolate shop, the best dark chocolate can be purchased from an unsweetened baking chocolate or wholesale dark chocolate supplier. You can buy the healthiest and best dark chocolate in bulk, and you can find pareve chocolate from a kosher chocolate supplier.