Imagine if there was a type of chocolate you could eat that was good for you: if indulging in your favourite snack could actually be more beneficial than detrimental to your health. That my friend is what many people would describe as ‘the dream’.
Well as it turns out, it’s not just a dream at all. Dark chocolate, while still delicious and comforting, actually is very good for you almost to the point of being a ‘health food’ rather than a desert. While you still need to moderate the amount you eat (too much of anything will be bad for you, and dark chocolate is still rather sugary), you can certainly be a little more guilt free when you enjoy a bit of dark chocolate. Especially if you are choosing it instead of milk chocolate.
Read on to see what makes this type of chocolate so good for us, then consider trying it dipped in coffee – it’s a wonderful combination!
For starters, dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) contains good doses of iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and fibre. It also contains potassium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium all in good quantities.
In fact, were you to eat 100 grams of dark chocolate, that would provide you with almost your entire RDA for manganese – though that would be a lot of dark chocolate to eat and isn’t advisable!
Dark chocolate contains caffeine like coffee does, but in small doses that are unlikely to keep you awake. Caffeine is a great antioxidant and has been shown to be potentially protective against age-related cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s as well. On top of that, dark chocolate also contains another xanthine (stimulant like caffeine) called theobromine. Between them, they may well held you to work a little better into the evening and strengthen your brain power.
Dark chocolate is additionally a good source of healthy fats which are good for making you feel full, as well as for helping with brain health and aiding in the absorption of protein.
100 grams of dark chocolate would contain 600 calories (the same as milk chocolate) but generally less sugar. This is why you shouldn’t eat it in large quantities, but if you eat as an alternative to white chocolate, then you will find it’s less disastrous to your weight-loss targets.