Font Size
Acacia Creek Blog:Healthy Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate

Healthy Facts About Dark Chocolate

It’s not just a favorite treat for Valentine’s Day! Milk chocolate and white chocolates are definitely pleasing to the taste buds, but unfortunately, they are loaded with milk and sugar. If you are a “chocoholic” a.k.a. chocolate lover such as myself, you may want to look at eating dark chocolate instead. Dark chocolate can be quite bitter but its smoothness and rich taste have multiple health benefits. Dark chocolate has between 50-90% cocoa solids and contains no milk. 

To get the most health benefits from dark chocolate, you should consume chocolate with at least 75% cocoa or higher. The cocoa bean is packed with over 300 chemical plant compounds that are beneficial to one’s overall health. This is because there are several bioactive compounds in dark chocolate. We have discussed dark chocolate before, but this time we are going to get a little more detailed. 

Heart Health 

Flavanols, or the chemicals that are highly present in cocoa, are excellent for your heart because they have the power to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, relax blood vessels, and improve blood flow. Due to all of these benefits, dark chocolate is known to reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. 


Some studies have shown that dark chocolate may lower diabetes risk because it improves fasting blood glucose levels and insulin resistance. Not only have studies shown that a daily dose of dark chocolate can manage diabetes, but it can also lower the chances of becoming diabetic. 


Chocolate is already very delicious, so it’s no mystery that when we eat it, it makes us happy. What makes it even better is there is science to back this up. Science indicates that this mood enhancement has something to do with a better gut microbiome. Chocolate has a prebiotic effect and can restructure the composition of the gut microbiome which is essential in disease prevention and overall health. Gut microbial diversity is shown to give someone higher positive emotions and reduces the feelings of loneliness. 

Relieves Stress 

When we are stressed, there are stress hormones called cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) that get released and attack our bellies. Cocoa has a chemical called polyphenols which is shown to help lower the release of these hormones. 

Brain Health 

Cocoa contains flavonoids which a chemical that can improve cognitive function, improve blood flow, protect neurons, and protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s. 

Helps The Immune System 

Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants which are free radical fighters. Free radicals cause cell death, aging, and diseases. 

Athletic Performance 

Researchers have discovered that dark chocolate can improve exercise performance. It causes a rise in nitric oxide in our blood which improves circulation. This lowers the oxygen needed for exercise, allowing you to workout longer and more efficiently. 

Lipid Profile 

Studies have shown that consuming two grams of dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa a day for 6 months can improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

So there you have it, all the benefits of eating dark chocolate. Keep in mind: that although dark chocolate has plenty of health benefits it is also high in calories as well as fat calories. It is also high in added sugar; so eating too much can cause weight gain and impaired glucose homeostasis in Type 2 Diabetes. Incorporate dark chocolate along with a healthy diet. Also consult with your physician or dietician if you have any questions or concerns. 

Yanasa Williams
Health Fitness Specialist 


ACACIA CREEK RETIREMENT COMMUNITY inspires residents to live an active, meaningful life. Our mission as a senior community is to enrich the independence, well-being, and security of our residents through exceptional services and care based on Masonic values.


To learn more about Acacia Creek or our senior housing opportunities, contact us at WWW.ACACIACREEK.ORG/CONTACT

Other Suggested