Most of us don’t need much reason to indulge in dark chocolate – the rich, bittersweet taste alone is enough. However, it turns out that dark chocolate could have a variety of health benefits to recommend consumption in moderate amounts.
To be clear, dark chocolate includes products that feature 70% or higher cacao content, so this rules out white chocolate and milk chocolate, which are both much higher in sugar and fat content. These types of chocolate don’t tend to be great for your health, or your teeth.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has been linked to such health benefits as reduced LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease. It may also decrease risks of sun damage to skin and improve brain function. In addition, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants that can help to fight free radicals in the body and potentially stave off certain ailments.
Even better, dark chocolate could turn out to the be one form of sweets that is actually beneficial to your teeth. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should overindulge, but in moderate amounts, dark chocolate could be good for you.
The Benefits of CBH
Dark chocolate contains a beneficial compound called CBH that might actually be more effective than fluoride when it comes to fighting tooth decay and protecting tooth enamel. Some professionals even predict that this substance could eventually be added to toothpaste and other dental care products as a means of preserving oral health and preventing tooth decay.
This is because CBH has been found to strengthen tooth enamel, the protective covering on teeth that stops bacteria and other harmful substances from attacking teeth and causing decay. In addition, cocoa has antibacterial properties.
The main problem with ingesting most sweets is that the sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth, which then produce harmful acids that form a film on teeth and attack enamel. Not only does dark chocolate have less sugar than other types of chocolate, but the cacao content helps to combat tooth decay in multiple ways.
Should I Load Up on Dark Chocolate?
Okay, hold your horses. Dark chocolate, while beneficial in moderate amounts, can still significantly boost your calorie and sugar intake in larger quantities. For this reason, it is recommended that you consume no more than about 3-4 ounces per day. This might not seem like much, but you’ll find that it doesn’t take a lot for the richness of dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, and provide health benefits in the process.