5. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is chock full of antioxidants including iron, zinc, potassium, copper and magnesium and it’s absolutely loaded with polyphenols, flavanols and catechins to boot. Its fatty acid profile is also good, as it consists mostly of heart-healthy oleic and cholesterol- neutral stearic acid, so it’s no surprise that cocoa extract’s antioxidant content helps with the reduction of age spots and wrinkles.
One study found that dark chocolate wielded greater amounts of polyphenols, and flavanols and had more antioxidant power than many fruits, including blueberries – a known superfood! Due to its rich amounts of nutrients, cocoa has also been found to have Alzheimer antioxidants benefits, so consuming small amounts of dark chocolate regularly, not only contributes to more youthful looking skin, it keeps your brain healthy too!
Cocoa is a potent anti-inflammatory with immense power to boost the immune system and research has shown that it can also decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 9%. This is because it’s effective at lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure and it improves insulin sensitivity and overall heart health.
Populations known for their high cocoa consumption typically have extended life expectancy and are among the healthiest people in the world. Scientists studied the Kuna Indians, in Central America who drink up to 900 mg of cocoa a day and found that despite having a high salt diet, they have a low occurrence of high blood pressure, a factor known to contribute to cardiovascular disease.