Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Some foods hide danger even though they look harmless, whereas others can bring numerous benefits despite being considered quite unhealthy. Chocolate falls into the category of products that are usually perceived as high in fats and, thus, detrimental. However, this statement is only partially true since dark chocolate, unlike milk or white types, can actually be useful for mitigating several significant health issues. While much can be argued about chocolate in general, dark chocolate has more benefits than disadvantages to people’s health. Specifically, its positive effects have been found in the spheres of cardiovascular health and food intake attenuation. Therefore, whereas chocolate is high in milk and fat, dark chocolate is not high in these elements but instead, it is rich in useful ingredients that can enhance people’s health.

The nutritional value of various types of chocolate differs, which allows identifying benefits and limitations in each of them. As Marsh et al. (2017) report, the proportions of cocoa, milk, and cocoa butter in white, milk, and dark chocolate are not equal. Dark chocolate has the highest level of cocoa and the lowest levels of milk and cocoa butter. Health benefits of cocoa have been known for over 3000 years (Higginbotham & Taub, 2015). Modern studies offer an enhanced understanding of the positive effects of cacao. According to Higginbotham and Taub (2015), most of the cocoa’s favorable impact is related to epicatechin, a flavanol in which cacao is rich. In contrast, milk chocolate has low amounts of epicatechin, which results in dark chocolate’s positive influence on inflammation, lipids, and blood pressure (Higginbotham & Taub, 2015). Such findings allow associating dark chocolate with positive outcomes in patients suffering from metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

The effect of dark chocolate on cardiovascular disease’s prevention and treatment may be of several kinds. Cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate include elevated platelet aggregation, improved blood pressure, and enhanced endothelial function (Kerimi & Williamson, 2015). Furthermore, dark chocolate has been proved to embellish nitric oxide bioavailability and promote mitochondrial structure and function (Higginbotham & Taub, 2015). Theobromine, catechins, and procyanidins, as well as other biologically active components of dark chocolate, impact the cardiovascular system of a person both in direct and indirect ways (Kerimi & Williamson, 2015). Hence, regular intake of dark chocolate can significantly improve cardiovascular health.

Due to the different composition of various types of chocolate, it is possible to speak about their diverse roles in food-related behaviors. Dark chocolate diminishes the desire to eat compared to white and milk chocolate (Marsh et al., 2017). Therefore, it is most useful to eat it and not worry about gaining weight. Marsh et al. (2017) have found that the consumption of dark chocolate has the potential to decrease subsequent intake of food and reduce the likelihood of gaining weight. Thus, people can use it as a means of fighting against extra food consumption and, as a result, gaining unwanted kilograms.

Health benefits of different products have been investigated by researchers, nutritionists, and physicians for many centuries. The effect of dark chocolate on people’s cardiovascular system and food consumption tendencies has been reported to be rather positive. It is necessary to bear in mind that other types of chocolate, such as milk and white, do not share the positive features of dark chocolate. Hence, it is necessary to be cautious when choosing a sweet snack.


Higginbotham, E., & Taub, P. R. (2015). Cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate? Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine, 17(12), 54. Web.

Kerimi, A., & Williamson, G. (2015). The cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate. Vascular Pharmacology, 71, 11-15. Web.

Marsh, C. E., Green, D. J., Naylor, L. H., & Guelfi, K. J. (2017). Consumption of dark chocolate attenuates subsequent food intake compared with milk and white chocolate in postmenopausal women. Appetite, 116, 544-551. Web.

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