What does science really say about dark chocolate?

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

And we’re all looking for an excuse to eat more of it right? I certainly am!

And we often come across news from the mainstream media talking about about this new research or that demonstrated the healthy effects of chocolate.

Is there any truth to it?

Well yes and no.

Studies have shown that there are beneficial compounds chocolate, yes.

HOWEVER, not all chocolates are born equal, even dark chocolate.

You see cocoa contains compounds called “Flavanoids”.

These Flavonoids have been shown in studies to have numerous beneficial effects on humans, by improving the health of blood vessels. This in turn results in lowering of blood pressure and improved blood flow.

This is why some studies have shown that dark chocolate improves vision, brain function (especially in older people), and blood pressure.

HOWEVER, you have to be careful:

FIRST: These benefits disappear when eating chocolate with (in most cases) less than 75% cocoa.

This means that your first order of business should be to find dark chocolate of at least 75% cocoa content.

SECOND: you have to make sure the dark chocolate you eat is low in sugar an doesn’t contain chemicals. Sugar will INCREASE your blood pressure and REDUCE the health of your blood vessels, so that won’t work.

THIRD: the more the “dark chocolate” is processed, the more flavonoids it will loose during the manufacturing process. In fact, most commercial dark chocolates contain very little flavanoids.

So what you want to do is try to find high cocoa (80%+) dark chocolate which is “Raw” or minimally processed (and organic to avoid pesticides and herbicides).

I’m personally a fan of a brand called Conscious, and it’s what I use at home (I have no relationship with them whatsoever, I just like their products).

Link to study about effects of cocoa on blood pressure.

Link to study about effects of cocoa flavanols on mental function.

Link to study about effects of cocoa flavanols on blood flow to brain.

Link to study about effects of dark chocolate on vision.