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Carlton Senior Living Blog | April 25, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Healthy (And Tasty) Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

dark-chocolateSome people assume that all tasty foods have to be bad for you. We have previously discussed the importance of antioxidants as we get older – these are going to help us stay fit and ward off disease. While antioxidants might sound like something that you can only eat when eating healthy – dark chocolate is one of the most important (and overlooked) antioxidants that we have available.

What it does

Dark chocolate has been shown to activate enzymes that are able to remove cancer-causing mutagens and carcinogens, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help to lower blood pressure. It can also help reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots, because it keeps cholesterol levels stable and prevents the clumping of blood platelets. Add in the fact that the flavonoids that are in cacao help to increase the blood flow to the brain, and you should understand that it could even help reduce risk of having a stroke or developing dementia.

It Helps You Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

As mentioned, eating dark chocolate can help keep your circulation unimpaired and keeps your blood vessels healthy. You can also regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently and helps your cells function normally by reducing insulin resistance. Because of its low glycemic index, there are no sudden fluctuations with our blood sugar levels when we eat dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Has Theobromine

We have previously written about tooth decay in the elderly, and dark chocolate contains theobromine – which studies reveal can harden tooth enamel. This means that unlike other sweets, dark chocolate can actually REDUCE your risk of getting a cavity (if you practice good dental hygiene).

Dark Chocolate Is Filled With Vitamins and Minerals

There are numerous vitamins and minerals in dark chocolate that can all support your health. It contains a few of the following vitamins and minerals in high concentrations:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Potassium

While the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, the iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia. Meanwhile, the potassium and copper help protect against cardiovascular ailments and stroke. The next time that you have a sweet tooth, know that dark chocolate can be a great way to give into that craving while not ingesting anything too unhealthy.