What is dark chocolate?
So what is the mystery of how and why dark chocolate can help fight diabetes? Is there any one reason why there is a connection between dark chocolate and diabetes? No, there are many reasons why. It contains natural compounds known as polyphenols that are occurring and and have antioxidant properties. There are molecules that are harmful and these polyphenols help protect your body from damage. Just to be clear from the start? This is only for dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. And we’ll look into the details and benefits of dark chocolate and what it does for lowering blood sugar levels.
Why are polyphenols so important? The reason is because they can improve sensitivity to insulin and has affects on just how well insulin can work in your body. Therefore, the result is controlling your blood sugar. Now if you have been eating dark chocolate, this improved event of insulin sensitivity could possibly even delay or prevent the beginning of diabetes.
There were studies done showing the folks who consumed dark chocolate at least one time a week had a less occurrence of diabetes and were actually at a much lower risk of developing diabetes five years down the road. In a study of 1,000 people who did not have diabetes and 50 people who actually had diabetes, the results were that folks who had who ate dark chocolate less than one time a week, were more than TWO times at risk for developing diabetes than the others who had it at least once a week. I say go for it!
Not just any dark chocolate
It’s important to know that you shouldn’t just have any dark chocolate. You’re should be looking for chocolate that is rich in polyphenol, has the highest amount of cocoa, and contains antioxidants because you will get more health benefits.
I always say with anything you buy to read the labels first. I can’t stress this enough. It’s very helpful to know what the ingredients are in a product. You want to get the most out of what you’re buying. The dark chocolate you’re looking for should have the same amount of fiber as sugar. Choose the chocolate that hasn’t been processed to make the cocoa with less of a bitter taste. (Process known as alkali). The reason for this is the process removes any health benefits in the chocolate.
Dark chocolate yum! But hold on now, slow down!
I always liked milk chocolate better, but dark chocolate is still good! But hold on a second. This doesn’t mean to gorge yourself. This is about not gaining weight and ingesting too much sugar. There are calories and sugar in chocolate so you have to be careful and only have it in moderation.
You should only have one or two squares and not overdo it. Dark chocolate in moderation is beneficial for diabetes and blood sugar. Too much is harmful. Now even if you don’t have diabetes and don’t have a weight problem, you can probably indulge a bit more but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be at risk for obesity and diabetes at some point if you are constantly overdoing it. Easy does it.
What is it about chocolate anyway?
Well the answer is that it tastes so good! When you were a kid, didn’t you always want and eat chocolate? Of course we all did. What was your favorite holiday after Christmas? HALLOWEEN! What a great holiday for a kid! I used to go out a second time to get my bag filled up and guess what my favorite was? Chocolate of course!
Okay, the dentist made money off my parents from the candy I ate, but it was worth it for me. Actually back then almost any candy would do, but I always went for the chocolate first. Chocolate and sugar are addicting. Back to today, only dark chocolate and in moderate amounts are allowed as far as I’m concerned. Now I and many others, pay the price of trying to lose weight and control diabetes.
The health benefits of dark chocolate
It lowers your blood pressure, but at the same time can aid in reducing your sensitivity to insulin. A study done between people who had white chocolate and people who had dark chocolate showed the dark chocolate reduced the blood pressure and insulin sensitivity too of the folks who had the dark chocolate and not the white chocolate. The reason is white chocolate is made from cocoa butter and does not contain the antioxidant properties that dark chocolate does.
Protects LDL against oxidation and raises HDL
The cocoa powder found in dark chocolate resulted in decreasing LDL levels significantly in men. In addition, it lowered LDL elevated cholesterol levels and at the same time increased HDL levels.
Protection against the sun
Dark chocolate contains bioactive compounds that are excellent for your skin. Improved flow of blood to your skin, increasing the hydration of your skin and its density, and protection against sun damage can all be related to the flavonols in dark chocolate.
Diabetes and dark chocolate
The cocoa and its flavanoids work to fight insulin resistance and one of the important things here to remember is the higher the percentage age of dark chocolate the more health benefits you will get from it. You can help lower your blood sugar levels because the cacao it contains boosts the sensitivity to insulin. But if you’re looking to prevent diabetes in the first place, you’ll want only low sugar dark chocolate.
Function of your brain
A high consumption of dark chocolate that is of high quality results in the improvements in your brain of scanning, virtual awareness, working memory, and better reasoning. When studies were done with intelligence, it was found that intelligence measured was increased after eating dark chocolate.
Benefits your immune system
Dark chocolate is excellent for your immune system with its powerful antioxidants. The cocoa in dark chocolate helps regulate the response of the inflammation of your immune system. Inflammation then sparks your tissues response to the enemies such as wounds, chemicals, infections, and various pathogens. Anti-inflammatory properties and flavonoids work together to aid your immune system and dark chocolate is loaded with them.
Regular consumption of chocolate is healthy because the antibodies from cocoa can effectively fight disease and bacteria. Remember, regular consumption does not mean to east a giant bar of dark chocolate each day. M-o-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n.
Boosting your happiness
First of all, who wouldn’t be happy by having more dark chocolate everyday? Most of us would love this snack or treat and it’s an added benefit that it actually will boost your emotions. It tastes great and is healthy but the most beneficial dark chocolate to decrease your anxiety and stress levels is the unsweetened kind. The caffeine it contains also is a mood booster but the levels of caffeine compared to coffee aren’t even close so you won’t have to be concerned about being wired and flipping out.
The flavanols in chocolate and cocoa can help improve the blood flow to your heart and to your brain. These flavanols are awesome because they can help to lower your blood pressure and relax your blood vessels by stimulating your arteries with nitric oxide. Just a little bit of chocolate will do because you will only get results with your blood pressure if it isn’t too high.
Lots of minerals
It’s amazing how many minerals are in one ounce of dark chocolate. It contains potassium (6 percent), magnesium (16 percent), zinc (6 percent), calcium (2 percent), copper (25 percent), and iron (19 percent). In addition it also has phosphorous and selenium. This gives you enough of these daily recommended minerals.
Your dentist may not be too happy because you may not be visiting as much, but it would make you and I happier, right? Dark chocolate actually helps fight tooth decay and cavities. How is this so? Dark chocolate actually contains something called theobromine. According to wikipedia it is defined as: a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, found in chocolate, as well as a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant and the cola nut. This is know to help harden your tooth enamel.
This may be hard to imagine but the more cacao contained the better. The chocolates with lower percentages of cacao have more sugar and that of course will promote tooth decay.
This may be something that can really help you or a loved one with when it comes to asthma. Chocolate contains components that are natural: caffeine, and as just mentioned above theobromine. They work side by side to open up closed bronchial passages. It also is beneficial in treating your cough by helping to suppress it.
Possible side effects
Dark chocolate has a component that is fairly common in a number of animals and plants called oxalates. According to dictionary.com oxalates are defined as: any salt or ester of oxalic acid, that is found in plants, specifically rhubarb, spinach, nuts and other vegetables and is capable of interfering with its absorption by the body and forming an insoluble salt with calcium. These may increase your risk of kidney stones. If you are prone to getting kidney stones, I suggest staying away from dark chocolate then.
This may not be a deal breaker for you. There could be a connection between some people and migraines, but there are some who aren’t affected at all. If you get migraines frequently, you may want to at least cut back on dark chocolate.
The bottom line is to always check with your doctor as I always say because they are the professionals and they know you and your body as well. Remember, the key here with dark chocolate is moderation and knowledge along with common sense.
Anything that is beneficial for your health, you should consider. If you like to eat it, then have your dark chocolate and diabetes will be helped by lowering your glucose. With diabetes, high sugar levels are the last thing you want. So have dark chocolate, but make sure it’s unsweetened. Read the labels and nutrition facts. Eat smart. While dark chocolate helps to reduce your blood sugar levels, it may not be adequate enough for you. Something that works with more results is my recommendation here! If you have any questions or would like to leave any comments, please do so below. I would appreciate it. Thank you and stay healthy!