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November 30, 2022

The tasty treat of dark chocolate comes from the cocoa bean rich in flavor, nutrients, and beneficial oxidative effects. Dark chocolate has been shown to be an excellent source of magnesium, iron, manganese, & copper which enhances its bioactivity factors. With dark chocolate having a higher cocoa percentage, the antioxidant enriching activity is greater. The high antioxidant content of dark chocolate promotes cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory agents. Consumption of dark chocolate has been shown to significantly increase erythrocyte deformability that improves hemodynamics and results in better tissue oxidation.

The gut-brain axis can be proactively effected as well by dark chocolate in having prebiotic characteristics and mood boosting capabilities. Allegedly, dark chocolate has antidepressant effects by improving cognition and mood. Containing a natural monoamine, phenylethylamine, dark chocolate increases the release of norepinephrine, dopamine, and acetylcholine. The energy-dense dark chocolate has a high nutrient density that can also positively effect insulin sensitivity and immune system modulation.

To sum things up, dark chocolate is a functional food that has anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-depressant properties as well as beneficial effects for healthy cholesterol and weight management.

Brooke Hacker

Doctorate of Physical Therapy