10 Health & Beauty Benefits of Dark Chocolate

We’re all guilty of over-indulging from time to time whether with savory snacks, drinks that leave us with a pounding headache the next day or delicious desserts and when we finally decide that ‘enough is enough’ and go for a full on inside out detox, it can be hard to stick to being ‘well-behaved’ ALL the time. The good news is, that even when you’re set on healthy living there is still a naughty, tasty, treat which is actually good for you…but everything in moderation!

Chocolate, a vice for many, actually has some amazing health benefits and can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, so you never have to feel totally deprived again! Of course, I’m not talking about the low cocoa content sugar fest that is your average bar of chocolate, but go for something a little darker (the REAL stuff!) and you might find that it not only helps you feel better all-round, but allowing yourself to have a little something can help you stick to a healthy diet for longer, without fear of giving in and having a full on binge!

dark chocolate
  • Anti-oxidant

    Dark chocolate, containing upwards of 70% cocoa, is loaded with nutrients and is one of the best anti-oxidants available. Raw cocoa beans have proven to contain more antioxidant activity than Blueberries and Acai berries when tested for ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).

  • Mood Enhancer

    Munching your way through a bar of dark chocolate can leave you feeling happier and it’s not just because of the great taste! Chocolate stimulates Endorphin production within the body as well as containing the natural anti-depressant Serotonin and Phenylethylamine – the same chemical your brain produces when falling in love!

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

    Dark chocolate is packed with Flavanols, which have the ability to send signals to the lining of your arteries instructing them to produce Nitric Oxide. This in turn signals your arteries to relax, lowering resistance of blood flow and therefore lowering blood pressure.

  • Lowers Cholesterol

    Cocoa powder has been used in controlled trials to study it’s effects of the heart and has been shown to dramatically reduced oxidized (bad) cholesterol in men. Chomp away, guys!

  • Nutrient Rich

    Dark chocolate is rich with vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy lifestyle such as: Magnesium, Copper, Potassium and Iron.

  • Boosts Brain Function

    As mentioned above, the high content of Flavanols in dark chocolate can lower the resistance of blood flow. This isn’t only great for heart disease but also means that blood flow to the brain is improved, boosting function.

  • Improves Circulation

    Consuming high cocoa content dark chocolate can help keep blood vessels healthy and increase circulation throughout the body.

  • Beauty Booster

    You may have also noticed cocoa being included in the ingredients list of some of your favourite beauty products (like the Tabitha James Kraan Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair) and this is because it has some great beauty benefits too! Try using cocoa powder mixed into a paste as a home face mask to de-toxify your skin and remove dead skin cells whilst tightening pores!

  • Protects Against Sun Damage

    Although not a replacement for your favourite natural SPF sun lotion, eating dark chocolate can work alongside it and help to protect your skin from damaging UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn.

  • Improves Vision

    Due to it’s beneficial blood flow properties, dark chocolate can help improve vision too!