The Benefits of Dark Chocolate - Ascendment Health & Fitness Blog

Come Over to The Dark Side – The Power of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a real gamechanger. It tastes delicious, provides an almost instantaneous wave of motivation and mental energy, and provides numerous health benefits. It isn’t called a superfood for nothing!

In this article we’ll look at which type of dark chocolate you should eat, what time of day it should be eaten, as well as the physical and mental benefits of this beautiful, little superfood.

What type of Dark Chocolate provides the most benefits?

Our rule of thumb is – don’t touch any dark chocolate that is below 70% cocoa content. The higher the percentage the better in terms of nutrition. The taste does get more bitter as the percentage goes up, but some people love this. The 85% mark is a nice sweet spot.

When should I eat Dark Chocolate?  

Aim to eat dark chocolate before lunch as the caffeine in it can affect your circadian cycle. This means that if eaten too close to bed you may have trouble falling to sleep. It can take up to ten hours for caffeine to leave our bloodstream. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety. Luckily, a small serving of dark chocolate contains 3-4 times less caffeine than a cup of coffee and provides an optimal boost.

Dark cholate provides a great mid-morning pick me up if you feel you need to be more focused and get more work done. It pairs well with a mug of Green Tea or Matcha, much like a medium-rare ribeye steak and a glass of Malbec! Green Tea is a great source of antioxidants as is dark chocolate. Double whammy!

What time should I eat dark chocolate?

Why eat Dark Chocolate?

It’s highly nutritious.

Dark chocolate contains a plethora of nutrients and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. These are vital for normal bodily functions and for the body to produce energy.

It’s full of antioxidants.

Cocoa and dark chocolate contain a significant number of polyphenols and flavanols which are powerful antioxidants. This type of chocolate contains more antioxidants than the majority of fruits. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are what cause disease.

It’s great for people eating in a calorie deficit.

This type of chocolate isn’t as moreish as milk chocolate and white chocolate. A couple of squares of dark chocolate is often enough. This is great if you are on a diet or eating in a calorie deficit. You get to have a couple squares of chocolate as a treat, and it barely makes a dent in your calories for the day. Treat it as a treat. By eating things that you enjoy while staying under your calorie limit you make the diet more sustainable as it becomes less of a chore.

Dark chocolate is a healthier option than milk and white chocolate. The darker it is the less sugar it contains.

It’s a mood booster.

A 1 ounce serving of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) contains around 20-60 milligrams of caffeine. This is enough to give you a mental boost. It increases alertness, clarity, and focus. If you’re feeling unproductive and de-motivated, eat two squares and you’ll turn into the personification of productivity.

Dark chocolate is a mood booster

It improves brain function.

Dark chocolate is proven to increase blood flow. A study proved that dark chocolate improved attention span, verbal learning, and memory in young adults. From personal experience, there is certainly an instant cognitive effect when you eat dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. 

Dark chocolate provides a lovely little mental boost. If you want to give your mind even more of a boost you can download our free Improve Your Mindset guide here.

Want to up your game even further? Get our Transform Your Life Guide (coming soon) here. 

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