New research has shown that dark chocolate could have a beneficial effect on stress levels and inflammation.
Two studies that were presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting have found that the consumption of dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao concentration can help reduce stress and inflammation, as well as mood and memory, according to Loma Linda University Health News.
Psychoneuroimmunology and food science researcher Lee S. Berk, who worked as an investigator for both studies, pointed out that this new research was looking at the effects of cacao, rather than the effects of sugar, in dark chocolate.
“This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings,” said Berk. “These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.”
According to Berk, the findings still require more investigation in larger studies in order to find out more about the connection between cacao and stress levels.
When eaten in moderation, the flavonol compounds in dark chocolate can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and potentially lower diabetes risk. It’s important, however, to watch out for the sugar and fat in some brands of dark chocolate, which can outweigh the benefits if eaten in excess.
Another study has even suggested that moderate amounts of dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Looking for a way to get the benefits of dark chocolate? While you can buy a high-cacao brand of chocolate at the store, very dark chocolate can be expensive.
Here’s a recipe for making your own Homemade Dark Chocolates from raw cacao. You can make these in bulk for cheaper than store-bought chocolates, and you can even control how much cacao goes into them.
Interested in more plant-based dark chocolate recipes? Check out these 15 Decadent Recipes for Dark Chocolate Lovers.
You can also download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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