It's fair to say that most people think that chocolate gives you bad skin, aka acne, pimples, spots and more. However, you may be pleased to find out that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to prove this.
Some scientists actually suggest that the reason people breakout after eating chocolate, isn't from the chocolate itself, but from all of the other ingredients added, like milk, sugar and fats.
SO, ARE THERE ANY SKIN/HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING CHOCOLATE? YES!
But not just any old chocolate. Dark chocolate has a high condense of cocoa compared to milk or white chocolate. Look out for dark chocolate that says 70%+ in cocoa - This is the good stuff, read on and we'll tell you why.
Chocolate is made from the seed, known as the cocoa bean, of the Cacao Tree that can be found growing in various parts of Africa, including Indonesia, Nigeria and Cameroon. 70% of the world's cocoa beans come from these West African Countries.
ARE THERE ANY GOOD PROPERTIES IN DARK CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR SKIN?
Yes, there is, IF you buy good quality dark chocolate with a high amount of cocoa content. Dark chocolate is very nutritious as it contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.
What goodies are found in a bar of dark chocolate? To make it a little easier so we don't have to worry too much about maths, let us focus on a bar of 100 grams of dark chocolate.
In a 100 grams bar of 70-85% of dark chocolate there is:
- 11 grams of fibre
- 67% of the RDI for Iron
- 58% of the RDI for Magnesium
- 89% of the RDI for Copper
- 98% of the RDI for Manganese
- It also contains Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc and Selenium!
But one thing we can't forget about, however much we may want to, is calories. There are 600 calories, not to mention sugar, included in these listed nutrients. Therefore, it is best to eat little amounts of dark chocolate to get all the good bits without too much of the bad bits.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING DARK CHOCOLATE?
Many studies have shown that cocoa in dark chocolate contains flavanols, known as a type of antioxidant, that may improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, reduce heart disease risk and fight cell damage too!
It may also improve the function of the brain and help prevent neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which is why some scientists think this is a key reason why it may improve brain function in the short term.
Dark chocolate contains bioactive compounds that may be great for your skin.
IT CAN PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM SUN DAMAGE:
The flavonoids found in chocolate help reflect harmful UV rays off your skin preventing sunburn and other conditions like skin cancer. Eating dark chocolate can also improve your skin's texture by making it smoother and 25% less red when exposed to the sun. Remember it is important to wear UVA & UVB protectors on your skin throughout the year to keep it protected from the sun's rays.
POTENTIALLY PREVENTS PREMATURE AGEING:
Dark chocolate can help to reduce dark spots, pigmentation and improve skins health and luminosity. It can also help bring back skin moisture levels by keeping moisture locked in, which also improved collagen, circulation and delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
BOOSTS CELL GROWTH AND HEALS SKIN:
The minerals found in dark chocolate helps to boost cell growth and nourish your skin, keeping it looking younger. It can also detoxify skin and remove dead skin cells. This helps the production of new cells, increasing cell healing - revealing smooth skin, lighting scars and blemishes, giving your skin's appearance a fresh and radiant look.
HELPS YOU TO DE-STRESS AND KEEP CALM:
It is important to keep your stress levels low, as high stress levels can play havoc with your skin. Breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles will start to appear making you look tired and drained.
Dark chocolate to the rescue! Dark chocolate contains Ample Magnesium that helps to reduce stress and also prevent collagen breakdown, which keeps your skin healthy. Ample Magnesium is also beneficial for your health as it can help you sleep. Beauty Sleep is key to your health and good health means good skin!
REDUCES SKIN INFLAMMATION:
Lots of things can cause skin inflammation including psoriasis and eczema. Flavanols found in dark chocolate can help to reduce inflammation, improve skin condition and keep your skin looking young and radiant. Dark chocolate is rich in Vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, as well as Iron, Calcium which helps nourish your skin from the inside out.
Although all of this does sound very promising, don't just suddenly drop everything and rush out to the shops to buy tons of dark chocolate, there are some considerations that you should keep in mind.
Not only does Dark chocolate contain good antioxidants and minerals it can also be high in sugar and fat which makes it a very high-calorie food. The fat found in dark chocolate is from cocoa butter, which mainly consists of saturated fats. Though saturated is by no means demonised in the same way it used to be, and actually is believed to have a number of health benefits, it is still high in calories so should be eaten mindfully.
Also depending on the chocolate manufacturer, more sugar or fats may have been added to get the flavour they desire. They may have added a higher content of sugar but reduced the content of fat, or vice versa. That is why it's always important to look at the ingredient list to check the sugar and fat content.
If you opt for the highest cocoa level possible - i.e 80% or more - enjoying 1 or 2 squares of dark chocolate a day will offer you some quite astonishing health benefits, as well as a well deserved sweet treat. After all, who doesn't enjoy a little chocolate once in a while!