While chocolate often contains added sugar, it doesn’t get enough credit for being healthy for the body. In addition to being beneficial to the body, chocolate can in fact be healthy for the teeth, as surprising as that may sound.
How is chocolate healthy for the teeth?
Strangely, chocolate, especially dark chocolate, may be able to fight plaque and cavities. In fact, it’s possible chocolate may be better at fighting off cavities than fluoride. You may be thinking to yourself right now, “But how? Can’t chocolate cause those things when it contains added sugar?”
It can. However, chocolate in its raw form contains a compound known as “CBP” CBP may very well be used in mouthwashes and toothpastes in the future. This substance can also help harden tooth enamel, providing healthier and stronger teeth ready to combat oral-related issues. It may, though, be awhile before CBP is used in oral products as more testing needs to be done to ensure safety and effectivity.
As well as this, the cocoa bean husk itself contains anti-bacterial properties helpful in reducing plaque. Knowing this makes chocolate of all types, even chocolate with added sugar, less harmful to our health than imagined. In fact, it’s believed knowing that chocolate provides these benefits that it may override the high amounts of sugar present in processed chocolate.
So, what does this mean? Should I consume more dark chocolate?
It’s important to keep in mind that chocolate with added sugar can be harmful in excess. The sugar is what makes this bad for the body if consumed too often. Even without putting sugar into consideration, any food eaten in excess is unhealthy and can cause weight gain if consumption is not watched. Everything should be consumed in moderation.
However, small doses every now and then are encouraged, whether this be raw or sugar-containing chocolate. Chocolate should also be avoided if you recently had your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist. Other than that, a small consumption of dark chocolate daily may be healthy. A few bites of a chocolate bar, a cup of hot chocolate, or a chocolate chip cookie may be good options in moderation.
Is dark chocolate healthier in other ways as well?
Beside being helpful in fighting cavities and plaque, dark chocolate is healthy for a variety of different reasons. Other reasons are as follows:
- Chocolate contains plenty of antioxidants which protect free radicals from damaging the body.
- The risk of cardiovascular disease may be reduced thanks to chocolate.
- It may reduce blood pressure.
- Chocolate has the ability to make people feel happier by releasing neurotransmitters in the brain to uplift one’s mood.
- Chocolate can also provide better brain function by providing better blood flow to the brain, potentially reducing risk of Alzheimer’s in elderly folks.
- It’s likely that dark chocolate has the ability to protect the skin from the sun, acting as a natural sunscreen in a way.
- Chocolate also contains plenty of minerals and nutrients important for the body such as magnesium, copper, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc.