Even though we don’t need any extra convincing to enjoy our favourite Lir Chocolates, we’re sharing some health benefits of dark chocolate in case you need any extra encouragement to indulge guilt-free.
Dark chocolate is a superfood favourite, high in antioxidants and flavanols, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and have an anti-inflammatory effect and aid digestion, among other benefits. In fact, the higher the cocoa content the more benefits there are.
Lowering Cholesterol Levels: Firstly, it has been found that chocolate consumption might help to reduce what is known as “bad cholesterol”. A study found that the consumption of dark chocolate which contains plant sterols and cocoa flavanols, when part of a low-fat diet, may support cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure.
Limiting Cognitive Decline: Additionally, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that dark chocolate or cocoa drinks could contribute to brain health, as it improves blood flow to the brain. They also found that dark chocolate or cocoa drinks can help to reduce memory decline in elderly people. Flavanols impact brain cells by protecting vulnerable neurons, enhancing neuron function, and signalling pathways in the brain that lead to neuron survival and growth.
Reducing the Risk of Cardiovascular issues: Finally, consuming dark chocolate can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Dark chocolate is a dietary source of flavonoid antioxidants, which have a positive effect on endothelial function, protecting against cardiovascular disease. One study even suggests that higher levels of chocolate consumption could be linked to a lower chance of cardiometabolic disorders.
*Cacao of 70% or higher is recommended to get the health benefits
Kwok CS, Boekholdt SM, Lentjes MAH, et al. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart 2015;101:1279-1287
This content is for general information only and is not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or healthcare professional.