Dark chocolate: types of dark chocolate, benefits and properties
December 2, 2020
50%, 70% and 90% dark chocolate and extra-dark and bitter chocolate: what’s the difference?
Dark chocolate contains at least 45% cocoa, while for extra-dark chocolate the cocoa percentage increases to 70%, and can reach up to 100%. So which one do you choose?
Obviously it should be quality chocolate, without artificial ingredients, with a high percentage of cocoa and therefore less cocoa butter and sugar. But the decision also depends on taste: whilst 100% is suitable for vegans or people with intolerances, and is certainly rich in benefits, it could be very bitter on the palate. We, therefore, recommend starting with 70% chocolate and then moving on to 85%, which is even more nutritious.
Is eating dark chocolate bad?
As mentioned, dark chocolate can be really good for our health. Here are some of the properties and advantages of this delicious staple.
PERFECT FOR WOMEN
Cocoa contains a high amount of magnesium, useful for both physical well-being and balancing our nervous system. For women especially, who often suffer from magnesium deficiency, a piece of dark chocolate can help alleviate nervousness, anxiety and insomnia!
Dark chocolate is also a good tonic for the nervous system thanks to the presence of phenylethylamine, a natural antidepressant.
In addition to the relaxing properties of magnesium, chocolate is also exceptional at reducing stress thanks to the tryptophan it contains, which helps the body release serotonin, the good-mood hormone!
PROVIDES A BURST OF ENERGY TO BETTER FACE THE DAY
Dark chocolate provides just the right amount of energy for us to stay lively throughout the day, and for those who play sports, it's a powerful metabolism accelerator, reducing fatigue and aiding muscles after physical activity. Dark chocolate also enhances our concentration and memory. Never underestimate how much a piece of extra-dark chocolate can help before an exam or important business meeting!
Of all the substances in cocoa, the most important are polyphenols. These natural antioxidants are found in high quantities in the cocoa bean and preserved in various percentages in chocolate.
The most important is undoubtedly epicatechin, a substance that helps to improve cardiac function and has positive effects on circulation and blood pressure. In addition, research shows that catechins have hepatoprotective and immunostimulant properties. Flavonoids such as polyphenols protect the arteries from atherosclerosis and prevent cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The active ingredients of cocoa, in conjunction with the effects of the stearic acid in cocoa butter, have an anti-inflammatory effect, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. For this reason, cocoa is an ingredient often found in the formulation of anti-cellulite treatments!
POWERFUL ANTI-AGEING EFFECTS
Therefore, dark chocolate also has powerful anti-ageing properties capable of counteracting the production of free radicals and cellular ageing, as well as preventing age-related cognitive decline.
Try every kind of dark chocolate, choose your favourite, and keep one in your bag for a moment of pleasure... and well-being!