The AMAZING BENEFITS Of Dark Chocolate | Dr. Steven Gundry

“Dark chocolate has between 50% and 90% cocoa solids,” says Peart. “And milk chocolate has between 10% and 50%.”The higher percentage of cocoa solids, the more flavonoids and the lower sugar,” Peart explains. “If you’re doing 75% or 80% dark chocolate, there’ll be less added sugar than if you were at 50% dark chocolate.”

Flavanols are a type of flavonoid that’s found in plants such as the cacao tree. These trees produce the cacao beans used to make chocolate. “Flavanols are abundant in cacao beans,” says Peart. “The cacao beans are fermented and roasted, producing what we call cocoa beans. We make cocoa solids from those.”

Dark chocolate “contains two to three times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids as compared to milk chocolate,” Peart adds. “It’s significantly higher.”Dark chocolate is packed full of important minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and phosphorus. In your body, these minerals are used to support factors such as immunity (zinc), can help keep your bones and teeth healthy (phosphorus), and contribute to better sleep quality (magnesium).The antioxidants in dark chocolate improve blood flow to your skin and protect it from sun damage. A small study even found that eating chocolate high in flavanols — that is, dark chocolate — can protect your skin from the effects of UV (ultraviolet) rays.“Polyphenols are antioxidants that lower cortisol, a stress hormone,” Peart explains. “So there are mood-enhancing benefits to eating dark chocolate.” In fact, a study published in January 2022 found that participants who ate 85% dark chocolate daily maintained better overall mood than others who ate chocolate with less cocoa — or no chocolate at all.

“Caffeine can exacerbate reflux, or heartburn,” says Peart. “If you have a sensitivity to caffeine or don’t want to have caffeine because it’s a stimulant, you should stay away from dark chocolate.”

The amount of caffeine in dark chocolate is far less than the amount you’ll find in coffee, though. “Even if you had two ounces of 70% dark chocolate, there would be around 50 to 60 milligrams of caffeine,” Peart says. “In an eight-ounce cup of coffee, which is much smaller than most people drink, there’s 100 to 200 milligrams.”

Dark chocolate also contains a “moderate amount of saturated fat,” Peart adds, which is the kind associated with high cholesterol. “But the heart-protective benefits of flavanols are thought to outweigh the downside of the saturated fat in dark chocolate.”

Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

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