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20 Amazing Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Skin, Hair, and Health

20 Amazing Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Skin, Hair, and Health


We all love the sweet smooth after taste associated with chocolate, and it is almost impossible to resist it.

You will find about three different varieties of chocolate in your favorite local store, but it is not all of them that have the same benefits to our health and skin.

Not all chocolates are equal. Some are better than others.

Milk chocolate contains milk, butter, sugar and different measures of cocoa solids, and is the most loved the world over. Its sweet, creamy taste is so irresistible, and most would not mind taking dozens of milk chocolate.

On the other hand, white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids. The main ingredient is cocoa butter. Sugar and milk are added to give it a special sweet and creamy taste.

Dark chocolate benefits

Dark chocolate has a large content of cocoa solids. As a result, it is a little bitter compared to the other varieties. Other ingredients are cocoa butter and sugar. However, dark chocolate may contain milk or not.

White chocolate and milk chocolate are the sweetest among the three varieties, and have a huge following among the consumers. It is a case of letting the taste buds lead the way, for most people.

Interestingly, dark chocolate is the most beneficial to our health based on the number of cocoa solids that it has.

The following are the benefits associated with taking dark chocolate.

Benefits of Dark Chocolate to the Skin

Reduces Stress:

Magnesium is the essential mineral, often dubbed as the ‘natural chill pill’ that suppresses the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress breaks down collagen and hurts our skin elasticity.  

As a result, cell growth cannot occur effectively when stressed, and your body is ineffective in replacing dead cells.

Apart from suppressing the stress hormones, magnesium helps you sleep better. According to research, sleep is critical to cell growth, and that translates to a better hair volume and skin.

Dark chocolate benefits for the skin

Protection against the Sun:

The study, published in the Journal of the US National Library of Medicine, show that chocolate provides skin protection against sunburn. Literally, it is the natural sunscreen.

Dark chocolate reduces skin redness and maintains a smoother texture after exposure to sunlight. The flavonoids in chocolate give your skin the ability to reflect UV rays, protects it from harful UV, and thus prevent skin discoloration.

Has a Range of Antioxidants:

There’s so much good associated with antioxidants in fruit and vegetables. Similarly, dark chocolate has powerful antioxidants that prevent the damaging effects of free radicals. Your skin remains supple and soft for longer, as your body has the ability to get rid of harmful substances.

Enhances Cell Growth:

Dark chocolate is loaded with essential minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron. These essential minerals play a crucial role by promoting cell growth to replace old and dead cells. Dark chocolate also has a detoxifying effect on the skin to keep it glowing and flexible.

Protects the Skin from the Damaging Effects of Ultraviolet Rays:

Long periods of exposure to sunlight can have damaging effects on the skin. However, the antioxidants in dark chocolate can prevent the detrimental effects of exposure through improved blood circulation.

Promotes skin Healing:

The mineral-rich dark chocolate packs a load of healing properties on the skin. It helps get rid of dead cells and remove scars from the skin. As a result, you can maintain a youthful and beautiful skin that attracts attention from afar.

Two melted dark chocolate bars mixed with milk and applied on the face regularly can do the trick of significantly improving skin texture and elasticity.

Benefits of Dark Chocolate to the Hair

Improves the Quality of your Hair:

Magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in dark chocolate are the essential minerals that enhance the quality of your hair. The vital minerals promote cell division and strengthen every strand of hair. Dark chocolate also makes the hair lustrous and soft.

Those with long hair and who often use curling tools can make their hair luscious and smooth by mixing melted dark chocolate with mashed ripe bananas. Add one teaspoon of honey to the mixture and apply it on the hair. Avoid applying on the roots.

Treats Infections in the Scalp:

Dark chocolate has extra-ordinary anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing to the scalp and prevents further development of infections. Taking dark chocolate improves blood flow to the scalp which brings essential nutrients to promote healing.

Improves Hair Volume:

Dark chocolate contains essential minerals that promote cell division. And together with increased blood flow to the scalp, the hair volume improves considerably. Dark chocolate has a positive effect on blood circulation, and that enhances the transfer of nutrients necessary for cell growth to your hair.

chocolate bar

Benefits of Dark Chocolate to your Overall Health

Keeps Premature Aging at Bay:

Wrinkles and fine lines on the skin are some of the most visible signs of aging. And even though some can argue that wisdom comes with age, no one fancies having visible signs of wisdom on their skin.

Dark chocolate keeps the skin healthy and prevents pigmentation. It improves collagen content and keeps the skin moisturized.

Eating dark chocolate improves circulation on the skin making it more elastic and healthy to prevent wrinkles. Elastic skin does not have any wrinkles.

Improves Eyesight:

Studies show that dark chocolate can improve visual contrast sensitivity. Visual contrast sensitivity is the ability to see an object at different contrasts. Another research shows that Dark chocolate improves visual clarity and visual acuity.

According to researchers, the flavonoids in dark chocolate improve blood flow in the eyes which transport essential nutrients and oxygen.

Reduces Inflammation:

Inflammation can affect various body processes including cell growth. The flavonoids in dark chocolate prevent inflammation and help in the management of such conditions as eczema.

Improves Heart Health:

The flavonoids in dark chocolate have anti-inflammatory properties, and they promote heart health. Dark chocolate improves the health of endothelial cells on arteries to improve blood flow to the heart.

Helps the Cognitive Function:

Flavonoids penetrate and accumulate in the region of the brain associated with learning. You become a better learner and excel in your studies by eating dark chocolate regularly.

Flavonoids also increase blood flow to the brain thus prevents memory loss, increases attention span and improves problem-solving skills.

For the senior citizens, taking dark chocolate can keep mental decline at a minimum.

Helps Manage Blood Pressure:

Magnesium and copper in dark chocolate help regulate blood pressure and prevent any associated complications such as heart disease and kidney problems.

Improves the Mood:

Dark chocolate increases the production of endorphins or the feel-good hormones. You may notice that your mood improves significantly after taking a delicious bar of chocolate.

Endorphins are associated with reduced stress and pain. Chocolate also has an amino acid related to happiness, tryptophan, which further reduces stress and improves your mood.

Reduces Cholesterol:

Bad cholesterol is the main cause of various diseases such heart diseases. The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that dark chocolate reduces bad cholesterol in the body. High cholesterol levels can also cause blockage of arteries and cause such complications as high blood pressure and heart disease. Dark chocolate increases good cholesterol in the body and reduces the harmful effects of bad cholesterol.

Cures Mild Cases of Anemia:

Dark chocolate contains iron and together with iron-rich foods can heal mild cases of anemia. The flavonoids in chocolate help increase the red blood cells in the body.

Prevent Stroke:

Flavonoids such as epicatechin, available in dark chocolate, are known to safeguard the brain against stroke. Studies show that the nerve cells of individuals that consume dark chocolate are less likely to develop stroke compared to those that do not take dark chocolate.

Good for Workouts:

Dark chocolate also contains proteins from the added milk. The proteins together with carbohydrates are a good source of energy for those that desperately need to recover from workouts. Chocolate milkshake will help you build muscles and give you the stamina to push yourself and achieve workout goals.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be boring, add some dark chocolate to your daily diet, apply some to your skin, be creative!

About the Author

Anna is a healthy lifestyle blogger at curltheblessing.com as she is passionate about health, fashion, natural living. She spends most of her time writing for her fashion and healthy lifestyle blog. She has her writing published on thefrisky.com before. Being a writer and a stylist doesn’t really stop her passion from traveling, too. Besides writing, she loves to hang out with her friends. She plans to launch her own beauty brand some day.

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Human have loved chocolate for more than 5,000 years

Human have loved chocolate for more than 5,000 years

Humans have hankered after chocolate for centuries longer than previously thought, scientists said recently, tracing the earliest known consumption of its key ingredient to more than 5,000 years ago in South America.

Archaeologists have long believed that ancient civilisations in Central America started drinking concoctions of cacao – the bean-like seeds from which cocoa and chocolate are made – from around 3,900 years ago.

But in a study that shifts the origins of chocolate centuries backwards, a team of scientists travelled to Santa Ana-La Florida, in modern day Ecuador, the earliest known archaeological site of the Mayo-Chinchipe civilisation.

They analysed artefacts from tombs and ceremonial pyres including ceramic bowls, jars and bottles as well as stone bowls and mortars for theobromine, a bitter chemical found in cacao.

The team found starch grains characteristic of cacao in around a third of items examined, including the charred residue of a ceramic receptacle dated to be 5,450 years old.

That suggests that humans have been consuming cacao for roughly 1,500 years longer than previously thought, and locates its discovery in the upper Amazon region.

Filephoto of a worker at a cacao plantation in Cano Rico, Venezuela, showing dried cacao seeds (above) and the inside of a cacao pod (right). Photo: AP

“This is the oldest trace of cacao identified so far and it’s also the only archeological trace of the use of cacao discovered in South America,” said Claire Lanaud, geneticist at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development and the study’s co-author.

Unlike the sugar and fat-laden creations of chocolatiers today, cacao drinks were prized for their medicinal value and often served during religious ceremonies.

Cacao was also a key trading commodity and its seeds were even used as payment and as currency in some parts of Central America.

“Since these ceramic vessels are found in ceremonial locations, including as offerings in tombs, it is likely that cacao was an important component of ritually significant drinks,” said Michael Blake, from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Anthropology.

This composite image provided by researchers in October shows artefacts from the Santa Ana-La Florida archaeological site in south-east Ecuador, made by the Mayo Chinchipe culture. A and B are stirrup spout bottles used to hold beverages. C is a stone bowl, and similar (ceramic, wood, etc.) bowls are still used today to serve fermented beer. D is a shard of a pottery vessel. Photo: AP

Part of human history

“There is a great deal of evidence that cacao was very important to peoples in north-east Peru, north-west Brazil and south Colombia and more,” he told reporters.

“The medicinal uses are well documented and there are some accounts of people making fermented beverages from the sweet pulp.”

Two weeks ago, research by a US-based team found evidence that cacao trees have been cultivated by humans for at least 3,600 years.

Blake said the findings of his team’s study – published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution – could be of use to botanists today trying to understand how cacao can adapt to our changing climate and receding rain forests.

“As a major crop today, used by most of the world’s population for an enormous variety of purposes, cacao is of great interest to humanity,” he said.

“It is a major part of our human story, one intimately linked to the history and ongoing cultures of indigenous south and central Americans where cacao is still grown and used today.” – AFP Relaxnews

Adding zinc to your diet of wine, coffee, and chocolate could make you live longer

Adding zinc to your diet of wine, coffee, and chocolate could make you live longer

Adding zinc to your diet could protect your proteins and DNA.

Adding zinc to your diet could protect your proteins and DNA.
KoOlyphoto / Shutterstock
  • A new study suggests adding zinc to a diet including chocolate, coffee, and tea could help you live longer.
  • It may reduce damage caused by oxidation.
  • This is because the zinc combines with a molecule found in these foods to mimic an enzyme that breaks down superoxide.
  • Superoxide damages proteins, lipids, and DNA, and contributes to ageing.

Research has consistently shown that many vitamin supplements may essentially be useless. But one vitamin that is proven to be good for us is zinc, which is hard to get enough of in our daily diet.

According to a new study, published in the journal Nature Chemistry, adding zinc to a diet rich in a component found in wine, coffee, tea, and chocolate, could increase life expectancy.

Researchers from the University of Erlangen in Nuremberg and Auburn University in Alabama found that a substance found in polyphenols – which are responsible for smell and taste – is activated by zinc, and produces a natural protective agent against superoxide.

Superoxide is produced by the body’s cells but damages our proteins and DNA. It’s thought to play a role in the ageing process, as well as being responsible for some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Read more: New evidence suggests that most vitamins are useless, but here are the only ones you should take

Antioxidant polyphenols are found in chocolate, wine, coffee, and tea, and researchers combined them in a lab with zinc to see what happened.

The result was a “metal complex” that imitates an enzyme in the body that breaks down superoxides, so they are metabolised away and oxidative damage is avoided.

This is the first time the effects of this enzyme have been replicated, the researchers said.

“It is certainly possible that wine, coffee, tea or, chocolate may well be available in future with added zinc,” said researcher Ivana Ivanovi-Burmazovi. “However, any alcohol content whatsoever would destroy the positive effects of this combination.”

Earlier this year, research found that eating three bars of chocolate a month could reduce the risk of heart disease. This could be because of the anti-inflammatory benefits of components of dark chocolate. Another study from this year found that an anti-inflammatory diet, including coffee, chocolate, and red wine, could reduce your chances of dying early.

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