Written by Dentistry Today Tuesday, 06 August 2013 13:41
There is good news for chocolate lovers: new research indicates that chocolate could be considered a “superfood,” joining the ranks of blueberries and broccoli. It can even fight tooth decay.
Chocolate is produced from cacao, which contains powerful concentrations of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antibacterial properties.
Researchers stress that these benefits apply only to dark chocolate – not milk chocolate – and the higher the natural concentration of cacao, the better.
Some health benefits of chocolate as a superfood are:
Fight tooth decay
• Because of cacao’s antibacterial properties, dark chocolate may significantly reduce the incidence of plaque, bacteria, and tooth decay.
Better cardiovascular health
• Cacao is rich in polyphenols, a molecule that can significantly improve cardiovascular health by increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which leads to improvements in blood pressure, insulin resistance, and blood lipid levels.
Lower risk of diabetes
• Thanks again topolyphenols, researchers found that individuals who consumed about 40g of dark chocolate daily cut their risk of developing diabetes in half.
Lower body fat percentage
• Antioxidants indark chocolate reduce inflammation and help alleviate the production of thestress hormones that would otherwise cause weight gain.
Improve mental well-being
• Cacao can promote feelings of calm, clarity, and bliss by stimulating the production of phenethylamine while regulating serotonin.
Other benefits include increased mental clarity and improved management of stress.