food,  Heart

Dark chocolate and heart health- Treat yourself and your heart

Most of us love eating chocolate and to many of us many love eating chocolate as just a snack.dark chocolate and heart health

As much as chocolate is a great treat it is vital to know that not all chocolates are good for you especially for your heart.

There is only one type of chocolate that will be your heart’s friend and that is dark chocolate.

Ever since I stopped eating sweets and chocolates dark chocolate has been there to help me not get left behind in terms of my treats,

In this article I will be talking about dark chocolate and heart health benefits it has and also which are the best types of dark chocolates to eat.

Dark chocolate overview

Dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate for your heart. This is because it is packed with high amount of cocoa.

This comes from a seed of cocoa tree. Cocoa has a lot of nutrients especially for the heart.

Research has shown that cocoa can reduce heart disease and the risk of having heart related disease.

dark chocolate and heart health
Cocoa seeds

Dark chocolate has been around for centuries but people do not know the health benefits for it particularly heart health.

When I was diagnosed with clogged heart arteries I was told to leave chocolates completely because of its potential damage to my heart arteries even further.

I even went online and all the sources told me to stop eating chocolate.

Since I loved chocolate a lot I was really devastated to say the least….(now what?)

This led me to be determined to find a healthy chocolate and after a lot of research and watching health programs I was able to find dark chocolate.

This was revealed to me in another show on TV. After this I was able to eat chocolate without worrying about the dangers to my heart.

Dark chocolate and heart health are very possible especially if you know how to chose the right one.

This will make a different to whether you continue being unhealthy or you become healthy.

The great fact I found about dark chocolate was that not only are they healthy generally for you but they can help clean your clogged heart arteries and make your heart even stronger.

This is also what led me to finding heart healthy snacks to consume for my condition which has made a huge difference in my lifestyle since I can consume snacks even if my heart may have problems.

Now back to the dark chocolate let us get in to how to choose the best dark chocolate.

Best types of dark chocolate

As much as dark chocolate is health but to get the best out of them you have to ensure that there are other factors you take into consideration.

  • High cocoa content

To get the most nutritious dark chocolate it is vital to choose a higher content. I would recommend a content of 70% and above.

  • Nuts or seeds

dark chocolate and heart health

When you get a dark chocolate with nuts or seeds that will make your heart benefit even more,

Nuts and seeds are very good in making your heart arteries walls very clean and keeping them very strong.

On top of this the nuts contain high amount of fiber which helps to keep you full for longer.

  • Bitter taste

I know some may not like this but this factor of dark chocolate being bitter helps your heart more.

This is because the bitter it is the less sugar it has and the higher the cocoa content it has.

This taste usually happens in a cocoa content of 70% and above.

  • Organic

Always choose organic dark chocolate as it has the most  purest form of cocoa.

Worst types of dark chocolate

The worst types of dark chocolate are those which are bad for your heart to some extent.

This section will highlight the factors which contribute to making dark chocolate heart unhealthy.

Let’s start:

  • Milk

Milk has many benefits for our bodies like making our bones strong but when eaten over a long period it can do damage to the heart.

 

Milk has the effect of clogging heart arteries. The calcium in the milk together with the cholesterol in the chocolate have the effect of making heart blood arteries get stick.

This makes all the fatty substances of cholesterol stick to the arteries.

  • Sugar content

dark chocolate and heart health

The best dark chocolate does not have sugar added in it. It is for this reason that when you are looking for dark chocolate you choose one that has no sugar as ingredients or the one which has sugar at the end of the ingredients.

Here is a small tip for you

The higher the cocoa content percentage in the dark chocolate the lower the sugar level.

  • Lecithin

dark chocolate and heart health

Lecithin is an ingredient which helps to blend the cocoa ingredients in the dark chocolate together so it doesn’t have to be in the dark chocolate.

The good thing about this ingredient is that it will not harm your heart.

  • Trans Fat

Transfat is the one ingredient that you need to completely avoid in any dark chocolate that you see. Dark chocolate that has trans Fat is completely unhealthy for your heart.

According to research Trans Fat the effect of causing heart disease.

Trans fat is added to improve the shelf life of the dark chocolate.

So how do you check this?

Check the ingredients list to see if it has trans fats or hydrogenated oil. If it has hydrogenated oil that means it has trans fats.

  • Dutched chocolate

A dutched chocolate needs to be avoided at all times since this process it lessens the bitter taste of the dark chocolate.

This process ends up reducing the antioxidants of the dark chocolate.

Studies have done about the negative effects of Dutching.

 

Benefits of eating dark chocolate

Research has proven that due to the flavonoids in dark chocolate it is very heart healthy. This works in the arteries to low blood pressure in the body.

  • Protects the skin from heat or the sun.

Fewer people know that the consumption of dark chocolate has a huge benefit for keeping the skin protected.

Dark chocolate also has bioactive compounds which serve to protect the skin from sun damage.

  • Improve brain function

dark chocolate and heart health

A study that was conducted on young people proved that eating dark chocolate with flavanols-rich cocoa drastically improved their brain function.

 

Final thoughts

Dark chocolate is the healthiest chocolate that you can ever consume, however there are still other factors that you need to consider to ensure it gives your best heart health.

The most important ingredient is cocoa and flavanols as they are the most effect ingredients for a heart healthy dark chocolate.

You must also take other factors into consideration as mentioned above to improve your odds of getting a heart healthy dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is not only healthy for your heart but it is also very important in improving your brain health too thanx to its versatile ingredients.

I would highly recommend dark chocolate for people with heart disease or who have diabetes as these diseases are the worst disease and they limit people in the delicious foods to eat.

Remember that heart disease and diabetes are very much connected as I have mentioned before.

However, if you would like to use a natural program along with dark chocolate you can check out my review of a very natural diabetes program here.

I hope this article of dark chocolate and heart health was very beneficial to you and I hope it will make a difference in your lifestyle of living heart healthy.

I would love to hear your comments on this article or any questions you might have, You can leave your comments on the comment section below

 

 

 

 

 

26 Comments

  • Abdulramon

    Wonderful write up there..has lots of knowledgeable informations

    I love chocolate because it is a brain booster.

    Little did I know of the several types.
    Dark chocolate here I come…

  • Vinc Lee

    Hi Thabo,

    Wow.. What an informative post! As a chocolate lover myself, I drool at the many rave reviews you gave to one of my all-time favorite food.

    Back to topic, I think your usage of pictures as illustrations are pretty neat. Not too much and not too little. The content of this post is relatively good to read as well, as evident from your efforts to break them up in small paragraphs.

    I also love the recommendation you suggested in the final paragraph of your post. Nevertheless, good job! I suppose you spent lots of time doing up this post eh?

    Regards,
    Vinc

    • Thabo

      Hey Vic

      Thank you very much for finding this article very informative and useful.
      Dark chocolate is also my favorite treat as it is filled with heart healthy facts.
      I am grateful for the compliments of the site

  • Matts Mom

    I love dark chocolate and I knew it was good for the tummy. But to find out that it is good for the heart….even better. I love it with a higher cocoa content and bitter taste. I really don’t like milk chocolate, as it is too sweet for me. Thanks for the information, was nice to know there are other benefits as well đŸ™‚

    • Thabo

      Yes I am also not a big fan for milk chocolate.
      At first I didn’t like it with a bitter taste but now I have gotten use to it.
      I am glad you enjoyed the article

  • Marian Florinel Condruz

    You just make me happy, I love dark chocolate.
    But I never knew before that some type will hurt me
    and some other will benefit my health.
    I will consider from now on and thanks to you
    I will eat more dark chocolate, just the good type
    Great information
    Cheers

    • Thabo

      Hey Marian

      I am glad this post was very informative in giving you heart healthy tips.
      I am sure you will be able to enjoy dark chocolate with these tips.

  • Che

    Hello There,

    Wow, what a great article. As an RN specializing in cardiology, diabetes, and geriatric – I couldn’t agree MORE that the dark chocolate is one of the healthiest snacks (some people might not know about) for these patient groups, of course, with the consideration of balance daily consumption.
    I really appreciate your website that promotes public health and promoting healthy products. Cheers to that!

    Oh did I say, I love dark chocolate? Yes, I do. Thanks for distinguishing the bad and the best dark chocolates.

    My warmest regards,
    Che

    • Thabo

      Great to have an insight from a RN specialising in cardiology which confirms everything.
      Now people will be more aware of the benefits of dark chocolate.

      I am glad you love dark chocolate and that you enjoy my site

  • Tohin

    I have always loved chocolate but often stay away from the bitter darker ones. Little did I know those are the best for my health.
    I guess it’s high time I started consuming the bitter darker ones!

    Thanks for this great article. It has indeed enlightened and encouraged me to have a positive change on my chocolate consumption.

  • Andrew

    Hi Thabo. Thanks for an informative article. I knew dark chocolate was better than the other types of chocolate, but I was unaware of just how good it was for us. You have made it very clear that dark chocolate is really the only chocolate that we should consume. Many thanks for this post. Kind regards,
    Andrew

    • Thabo

      Hey Andrew

      I am glad you enjoyed my article and I am sure you will use it to enhance your life.
      All the best

      Kind regards
      Thabo

  • John

    Thabo,
    I like to eat dark chocolate. I did not know what was good for me though. Your post is full of great information, I will start reading the package before my next purchase.
    Never can be too good to your heart. The bitter taste does not bother me if I can get an almond mixed in.
    What nut would be the best for your dark Chocolate.
    John

    • Thabo

      Great stuff John

      I am glad this dark chocolate article was helpful to you and it if you do not mind the bitter taste it is a great option for you.
      You can choose any nut you want but for best option of less oil focus on almonds and walnuts

  • Courtney

    Hey! Love this — helping my heart by eating chocolate? Um, sign me up! I was curious if you’ve ever made any at home? Or if you’re familiar with any good homemade recipes? Some of the really good organic dark chocolate can get pricey, and I like to know exactly what goes into the foods I consume. So, naturally… I thought, hmm perhaps I can made some at home!

    • Thabo

      Great response Courtney

      To be honest I do not know how to make home made dark chocolate but I can do some research for you if you want?

  • David

    Thabo

    Hey bud, great article Feels like you spent time on this one. As a chocolate lover myself I really enjoyed.
    Very informative lots of new stuff I personally learned Thanks for that I think chocolate is a great subject with rich history.Great work.

    • Thabo

      Hey David

      Great to have you back on my site.
      Yes dark chocolate is the best and it can work wonders to your heart. Thank you for the compliment

  • Erin

    I knew that eating 70% or higher chocolate was good from me, but I didn’t really know why, nor did I know why some chocolate wasn’t good for me – now I do. Thanks for the informative article.

  • Irma

    I admit, it took me a very long time to get used to the taste of dark chocolate, but now I know what chocolate is supposed to taste like, without all the sugar and weird ingredients.

    I have a hard time finding dark chocolate, even the 90% dark, without some form of sugar. Do you have any brands that you recommend or that can be purchased online?

    • Thabo

      Hey Irma
      Thank you. Great for sharing your history of dark chocolate. It is indeed a great snack option.

      There are varies brand you can try like Alter Eco,Pascha Chocolate, Antidote Chocolate

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