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Dark Chocolate Reduces Stress and Inflammation, Boosts Memory and Mood

dark chocolate benefits

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  • When it comes to chocolate, its cacao content — which is bitter, not sweet — the amount of sugar added, and the processing chocolate undergoes, makes a huge difference in terms of whether it has any health benefits
  • Raw cacao gets its bitter taste from the polyphenols present, and these plant compounds are also responsible for most of the health benefits associated with dark chocolate
  • The cacao bean contains hundreds of naturally occurring compounds, including epicatechin, resveratrol — two powerful antioxidants — phenylethylamine (which boosts mood) and theobromine, which has effects similar to that of caffeine
  • Human trial data reveal chocolate helps improve stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immune function, but it must contain at least 70 percent cacao and be sweetened with organic cane sugar
  • A number of other studies have confirmed cacao can benefit your heart, blood vessels, brain and nervous system, and helps combat diabetes and other conditions rooted in inflammation

By Dr. Mercola

Throughout its history, which dates back at least 4,000 years, chocolate has been a symbol of luxury, wealth and power. During the 14th century, the Aztecs and Maya even used cacao beans as currency. Modern research has also revealed chocolate has significant health benefits — provided you're willing to give up the now-familiar sweetness of modern day milk chocolate.


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