People always talk about how they break out after eating chocolate and coffee and bad mouth other such similar apparent culprits. I mean, look at the lengths people go to in believing a myth that women stop eating chocolate for weeks preceding their wedding days, or other such big events in fear of breaking out and having a blotchy skin.
Is chocolate good for you?
But in reality, however, chocolate isn’t as harmful as people make it out to be especially if you choose quality over the level of sweetness. Chocolate, in fact, is merely a plant; derived from cocoa beans and processed to make the chocolate bars we find at supermarkets. During the processing of the chocolate, some of the things that are added to enhance the flavor and sweeten it are the actual culprits that cause breakouts. Also, many chocolates manufactured use less cocoa as cocoa itself is naturally bitter in flavor, and then add sugar in large amounts. Chocolates that use less cocoa give a good taste on the tongue but are not healthy as they could be. In comparison, chocolates that use cocoa in a good amount, especially more than 75%, and less sugar (hence the name dark chocolate) tend to be slightly bitter but prove to be healthier and beneficial in the long run, with many health as well as beauty benefits- the latter of which I’m going to tell you on here.
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Basically, chocolate (or rather, dark chocolate) is rich in vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, minerals like iron, calcium, zinc and copper, and is also rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids. Collectively, these mineral, vitamin, and antioxidants lead to good health, beautiful, flawless skin and lustrous hair. How, you may ask. Just read on to find out!
Vitamins found in dark chocolate are responsible for repairing dry skin, such as vitamin A, B1, C, D and E. They, along with the help of a couple of minerals, namely iron and calcium, deeply moisturize the skin keeping it smooth, supple and flawless. Also, it maintains elasticity and keeps the skin plump. In conjunction, they give rise to the healthy glow in your skin, thus reducing the need for foundation and still attracting compliments.
The minerals zinc, copper, and iron stimulates new cell growth hence keeping the skin plump and juvenile. These minerals can also be credited for your tresses, as they encourage increased blood circulation to the scalp, thereby promoting hair growth and reducing hair loss. It is these vitamins and minerals that keep your hair strong, healthy, shiny and voluminous- basically improving on and maintaining the overall health of hair.
Furthermore, together, the vitamins and minerals, increases the blood circulation to the finer capillaries in the outermost layer of skin thereby assisting maximum absorption of oxygen and nutrients that further add in keeping your skin and hair beautiful. Also, it protects against dehydration and burns.
Antioxidants are found in exceedingly great quantities within dark chocolate, especially flavonoids, help combat and can also prevent the damage done to the top half of the skin layer (the collagenous layer that keeps skin plump n firm), by the free radicals released by UV rays, chemicals and environmental pollution. In this way, flavonoids in dark chocolate are a savior for those who burn easily in the sun. It shields skin against sun’s harmful UV rays hence preventing and/or delaying aging.
Research states that 20gms of good quality dark chocolate with cocoa >70% eaten for 12 weeks can have you stay in the sun twice as longer as than the one who doesn’t eat chocolate without getting burned. 3 months of having dark chocolate rich in flavonoids can recover and expand skin thickness, improve hydration and stimulate microcirculation, collectively giving the skin’s appearance a beauty boost.
Dark chocolate has all that and more! It has anti-inflammatory properties and defends skin and scalp from contracting infections. It has conditioning properties that are perfect for hair care. Chocolate is known to release serotonin and elevate the overall mood of the person eating it, as well as combat stress hormones. This drop in stress hormones in turn decreases collagen breakdown thus the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is delayed.
Following are two recipes using chocolate to pamper your skin and hair:
- Chocolate body scrub
Mix enough cocoa powder, brown sugar, and olive oil to yield a scrub like lumpy texture; add a few drops of vanilla essence. Scrub gently on the face and firmly over the body. Rinse thoroughly.
- Chocolate hair mask
Mix a half cup of cocoa powder with a tablespoon of honey and a cup of yogurt, and apply over hair. Cover with plastic wrap and let it be for an hour. Rinse with cold water to leave behind super soft, shiny locks!
Dark chocolate is quite healthy, more so if eaten in moderate amounts. It lowers cholesterol and lipids also protect against heart disease. Furthermore, it guards the skin against cancer causing rays too.
But to avail its full nutrients, you need to be smart while shopping for dark chocolate. Try breaking it before purchasing; a good dark chocolate will break with a firm snap, without crumbling. Dark chocolate that has a decent amount of cocoa will have a velvety texture. Lastly, a proper chocolate has the rich aroma of cocoa beans. Store them accordingly in a cool, dry, odour free place and away from direct sunlight to retain their goodness.
Well then, happy dark chocolating! Be it a cocoa butter for your skin, a chocolate wrap at a spa or even just a bite to eat, incorporate something chocolatey in your daily routine!