Improvements in brain health may be due to the high levels of flavonoids in dark chocolate, which research, like a study published in April 2018 in The FASEB Journal, has found to have accumulated in regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
While some research, including a study published in May 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, has indicated there may be a link between dark chocolate and the brain, studies with larger sample sizes need to be conducted, and further research is needed to investigate the mechanisms involved. And before you run out and stock up on chocolate bars, keep in mind most studies experimented with much higher quantities of chocolate than the recommended daily dose (1.5 ounces maximum).
3. Dark Chocolate Could Improve Blood Sugar Levels, and Reduce the Risk of Developing DiabetesEating chocolate every day doesn’t sound like the best way to prevent diabetes, but studies have shown healthy amounts of dark chocolate rich in cacao could actually improve how the body metabolizes glucose. Insulin resistance causes high blood glucose (sugar) and is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, per an article published in March 2019 by StatPearls.
In a study published in October 2017 the Journal of Community and Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, the flavonoids in dark chocolate were found to reduce oxidative stress, which scientists think is the primary cause of insulin resistance. By improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin, resistance is reduced, and in turn the risk of diseases like diabetes decreases.
Another study, this one published in January 2017 in the journal Appetite, showed that participants who rarely consumed chocolate had almost twice the risk of developing diabetes five years down the road, compared with participants who indulged in dark chocolate at least once per week.
While researchers agree dark chocolate possesses many health benefits, further study is needed to determine if there is a cause-and-effect relationship between chocolate consumption and diabetes risk.
BETTER HEALTH & BEYOND Editorial Team
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