5 Research-Supported Benefits of Plant-Based Chocolate
If you’re a chocolate lover looking for an excuse to get a bite every day, we’re giving you five valid reasons.
Inherently, dark chocolate is plant-based. Scientific studies have discovered that dark chocolate is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, putting it in the superfood category.
The Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health recommends chocolate products that contain at least 70% cacao. While there are high-quality milk and white chocolates, they tend to have higher sugar and saturated fat content.
So, here are some strong reasons why 100% plant-based chocolate should be your favorite snack:
1. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
When talking about heart health, many people might frown on chocolates. But according to research published on Clinical Nutrition, people who consume dark chocolate 5+ times a week are 57% less likely to suffer from heart disease. This is supported by a 2017 review, which noted that flavonoids help relax the blood vessels and regulate blood pressure by stimulating nitric oxide production.
2. Improves Cognition
You’ve probably heard someone say that they just eat chocolate when they’re feeling down. This is not folklore! Studies show that cacao-based products stimulate neural activity in the brain centres for reward and pleasure. As a result, stress hormones are reduced, and mood is improved.
According to 2018 research, eating 48 grams of chocolate with 70%, cacao increased brain neuroplasticity, positively impacting mood, memory, and cognition.
3. Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Chocolate doesn’t sound like a healthy snack option if you’re trying to prevent diabetes. But an October 2017 study published in the Journal of Community and Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives points out that flavonoids in dark chocolates can reduce oxidative stress, contributing to insulin resistance.
“The nutritional value of plant-based chocolate is impressive. However, you shouldn’t completely rely on these tasty treats for health benefits. Just consider it a compliment to a healthy diet.”, emphasizes Nate Ward, food science consultant at Weddingcakessydney.
4. May Prevent Cancer
Evidence that plant-based chocolates have anti-cancer properties is growing. The most prominent explanation is that antioxidants in these food products prevent cellular damage caused by unstable molecules (called “free radicals”).
One published study showed that people who regularly eat dark chocolate develop fewer cancers than non-chocolate consumers.
5. Improves Skin Condition
Plant-based chocolates are rich in vitamins and minerals that stimulate collagen production, which is responsible for skin elasticity. These also contain calcium (helps regulate sebum production), zinc (reduces inflammation), and iron (increases wound healing).
The antioxidants in chocolates can also help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. It sounds like dark chocolate should now be part of your skin care routine.
Numerous studies rally behind plant-based chocolate as a healthy snack. However, moderation should still be observed. Make sure that every bite truly counts!
Five North Chocolate offers 100% plant-based chocolates made of Fair Trade Certified™ cacao. With every purchase you make, we’re helping a cacao farmer build a future and plant a tree. Find out more about our impact here!