For most people, the idea that chocolate is great for the skin will come as a huge surprise. After all, how many of us grew up being told that eating too much chocolate would cause your skin to break out?
The great news for chocoholics is that this tired myth has finally been disproved. There is one catch, though. We are talking about dark chocolate here, chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids. (So, no, you cannot just binge on whatever chocolate you like.)
In fact, it is the additives to standard chocolate bars that have been found to be the problem. Dark chocolate has a bit of a bitter taste and so isn’t really suitable for your mass-produced candy bars. To make it more palatable, companies add fats and sugars. And it is these that can cause inflamed skin over time.
Chocolate Reduces Sugar Cravings
If chocolate is the superhero here, then sugar is definitely the villain. Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value, is addictive, inflammatory, and has serious negative effects on the internal systems in the body. Because of the havoc that it can wreak on our hormones, sugar also has a serious adverse effect on the skin.
It makes the skin more prone to aging and inflammatory conditions.
Dark chocolate has a rich taste that has been proven to help reduce sugar cravings. Participants in one study were shown to consume fewer sweets in general when dark chocolate was made part of their diets.
It’s Good for the Gut
This may seem like a strange addition to a list of skin savers but healthy intestinal flora is essential when it comes to healthy skin.
An imbalance in the gut bacteria makes it harder for the body to get the nutrition that it needs from the food ingested and harder for it to clear out toxins. This increases the numbers of inflammatory chemicals within the body.
Dark chocolate has been shown to be strongly prebiotic – meaning that it helps to feed the healthy bacteria within the gut.
Chocolate Helps to Improve Good Cholesterol
Cholesterol has a bad rep but it is essential for the body. It is used in many processes within the body, particularly when it comes to repairing the skin.
Dark chocolate helps to mop up bad cholesterol within the bloodstream and helps to increase the levels of the good cholesterol.
It Has a Protective Effect on the Skin
A study conducted by the European Journal of Nutrition has proven that consuming cocoa every day for three months helped to reduce the amount of moisture lost by the skin by up to 25%.
It does this by boosting your circulation. This means that the top layers of the skin have access to more nutrition and oxygen. This, in turn, helps to protect the skin from drying out or burning.
It Helps Fight Stress
Stress is extremely bad for the whole body but exceptionally bad for the skin. An excess of stress hormones leads to the breakdown of the collagen that supports the structure of the skin and the formation of free radicals.
This, in turn, increases the rate at which the skin sags and starts to wrinkle.
Dark chocolate has a high level of antioxidants but its stress-fighting benefits go a step further. When you eat chocolate, the pleasure center of the brain is activated.
This, in turn, encourages the release of endorphins and these make you feel good.
You feel more relaxed and your stress levels are reduced.
Isn’t that all great news? You can have your chocolate and eat it too!
Here are some of our popular products with cocoa ingredients