The darker the chocolate the better it is for you. Not because it’s lower in sugar and fat than white or milk chocolate, but rather because it’s higher in beneficial flavanols.
Flavanols help support blood vessel function which is great news for your body’s health. Increased circulatory function benefits heart health, organs, blood pressure, and some scientists now believe these benefits extend to brain health and cognitive function.
Additional Benefits of Dark Chocolate
In addition to flavonoids, dark chocolate contains beneficial minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron. Now, of course, the darker the chocolate the richer in minerals so shop wisely and partake in moderation.
There’s a chemical connection between chocolate and happiness. Chocolate naturally contains phenylethylamine which increases feelings of happiness and excitement.
Couple that with chocolate’s anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter that makes you feel more relaxed and less anxious and it’s no wonder this sweet treat has been considered a ‘love food’ since Mesoamerican civilizations.
How Much Dark Chocolate Can I Eat Weekly?
1 – 2 ounces of dark chocolate (70% cacao +) is what is recommended per day, so that’s 7 – 14 ounces a week. More than that and you may be consuming too many calories.
Some bars may have ounces portioned out, but if you aren't sure, invest in a kitchen scale and weigh it out. Consider weighing and wrapping each daily portion for an entire week.
Dark chocolate may take a bit of getting used to and some people complain about it tasting bitter. The bitter taste is from the flavanols so while you’re adjusting your taste buds to it remember it’s good for you.
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