Did you doubt that? Chocolate is also an excellent food!
Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) boosts your athletic performance. Thanks to the many antioxidants and carbohydrates it contains, chocolate contains ingredients that improve performance, anti-inflammatory effects and a positive effect on VO2max and your stamina. But besides being delicious, dark chocolate is good for you, too. Here’s why!
1. A source of nutrients
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) – plus vitamins (especially vitamins A and B) – also provides several minerals:
67% of your daily recommended iron needs
58% of the daily recommended magnesium needs
89% of your daily recommended copper requirement
98% of your recommended daily intake of manganese
Plus, it is rich in potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. A small aspect: 100 grams is really a large amount of chocolate to consume. So all of these nutrients are accompanied by the necessary calories (a scoop, about 600). Dark chocolate is still the best option if you want a bar of chocolate: milk chocolate contains twice the amount of sugar. Do you want to treat yourself? Then choose the darker variety, as it contains the most nutrients.
2. Good for the heart
Dark chocolate is a source of flavonoids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. A 2015 meta-analysis published in the scientific journal Heart found that people who ate more chocolate had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers suggest that the flavanols in cocoa contribute to the production of nitric oxide. The blood vessels relax and open more, which lowers blood pressure.
3. It strengthens your mind
Do you suddenly feel happy after eating dark chocolate? Not without reason. Studies show that chocolate improves cognition, prevents memory loss, and improves mood. Chocolate is said to stimulate areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward – reducing stress and improving mood. These improvements in brain health are also thought to be due to the higher flavonoid content in chocolate.