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Ursäkta engelskan, men "Dark chocolate is quickly becoming a superfood. Organic extra dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) is packed with nutrition. There are so many reasons to eat dark chocolate.

It is important to eat the right kind of chocolate, as some are loaded with sugar or artificial ingredients. Dutched chocolate should be avoided, as it is treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color. This gives it a milder taste, but destroys most of its healthy polyphenols.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons to eat dark chocolate.

1. Antioxidant rich:
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC, is the measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. Dark chocolate scores as one of the highest in ORAC. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, which help kill disease-causing free radicals.

2. Better mood:
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a feel good chemical. PEA stimulates the brain to release endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good hormones.

3. Brain health:
Because dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, it can help reduce signs of aging, including aging of the brain. The anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate may help with brain injuries. “For over 20 years, I’ve been toting the benefits of dark chocolate to my patients with a brain injury, such as someone with a concussion, stroke, MS, Parkinson Disease, Autism and ADHD,” says neuropsychologist Diane Roberts Stoler. “I always recommend an anti-inflammatory diet for anyone who has recently suffered a concussion, and dark chocolate is certainly included in this diet because of its beneficial anti-inflammatory properties,” Dr. Stoler adds.

4. Heart health:
The antioxidants in dark chocolate are great for heart health. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that chocolate intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

5. Increases good cholesterol:
Not all cholesterol is bad. There is a good type of cholesterol called HDL cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, “HDL cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Experts believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is broken down and passed from the body.” Studies show that eating chocolate increases good cholesterol.

6. May help prevent diabetes:
Dark chocolate has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, and may prevent the onset of diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that compounds in dark chocolate may prevent the onset of diabetes, and may prevent obesity as well.

7. May help prevent stroke:
Because of the high antioxidant content in dark chocolate, it may help prevent serious diseases. A study published in the journal Neurology showed that moderate chocolate consumption may lower the risk of stroke.

8. Rich in minerals:
Dark chocolate is packed with nutrition, including minerals like potassium, zinc, and selenium. Potassium-rich foods are believed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Zinc is great for strengthening the immune system, and selenium protects cells from damage.

9. Skin health:
Chocolate is rich in flavanols, which have been shown to protect the skin from ultraviolet damage and sunburns.

10. Weight loss:
Chocolate, despite its sugar and fat, appears to have favorable metabolic effects. Fewer calories end up as fat deposited in the body. A study from UC San Diego showed that eating chocolate frequently is linked to lower weight.

REFERENCES:
1. “Cocoa Intake, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Mortality: The Zutphen Elderly Study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Archives of Internal Medicine, 27 Feb. 2006. Web. 13 May 2015.
2. “Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Stroke.” Neurology. American Academy of Neurology, 29 Aug. 2012. Web. 13 May 2015.
3. “Dark Chocolate Consumption Increases HDL Cholesterol Concentration and Chocolate Fatty Acids May Inhibit Lipid Peroxidation in Healthy Humans.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
4. “Good vs. Bad Cholesterol.” American Heart Association. American Heart Association, n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
5. “Regular Chocolate Eaters Are Thinner.” UC Health. UC Health, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 May 2015.
6. “Oligomeric Cocoa Procyanidins Possess Enhanced Bioactivity Compared to Monomeric and Polymeric Cocoa Procyanidins for Preventing the Development of Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Impaired Glucose Tolerance during High-fat Feeding.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 13 May 2015
7. “Dark Chocolate: Good For Your Brain!” Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 May 2015.























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