Dark Chocolate and Eye Health

Finally, An Excuse To Eat More Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate and Eye HealthDark chocolate, unlike its lighter counterparts, contains a higher percentage of cocoa, which is where many of its health benefits derive. Cocoa provides an abundance of flavanoids, antioxidants, and flavanols, which have been shown to increase blood flow. While darkchocolate is high in sugar and fat, when eaten in moderation, it can be a healthy source of fiber, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.

Unfortunately, white and milk chocolate just won’t do. They are often higher in sugar and fat and do not contain enough cocoa to offer the same level of health benefits. When choosing dark chocolate, go for the options higher in cocoa (we suggest 70-80%), as many of the health benefits come directly from the cocoa. We also suggest that you don’t forget to check the serving size, as you don’t need much to take advantage of all of the health benefits.

Here is a list of some of the health benefits that are associated with eating dark chocolate:

Enhances Visual Performance

Eating dark chocolate has been found to enhance visual performance in young adults. Studies suggest that the cocoa that is found in dark chocolate can increase blood flow to the retina and brain, which facilitates an improved detection of motion and an improved ability to see low contrast letters. While this can be helpful in many settings, these skills can be especially beneficial when driving.

Protects Against Macular Degeneration

Dark ChocolateMacular Degeneration is caused by deterioration of the retina and can severely impair vision in patients who suffer from it. Macular Degeneration is often found in older adults; in fact, it is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 60. The cocoa found in dark chocolate contains Vitamin A, which can protect against Macular Degeneration.

Prevents Damage to the Optic Nerve

In addition to all of these benefits, the copper found in dark chocolate has been found to prevent damage to the optic nerve. While people only need a small amount of copper per day, dark chocolate has over half of the recommended daily dose, which means that after one serving of dark chocolate, you’re well on your way to optic nerve health.

Prevents Further Damage in Glaucoma Patients

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which can result in optic nerve damage. This damage can lead to vision loss and blindness. The good news is that the flavanoids that are found in dark chocolate (as well a certain types of tea and red wine) can aid in the reduction of oxidative stress, which in turn can protect the eyes from further damage.

In addition to being delicious, dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can be beneficial to your eyes and vision. It may also promote heart health, prevent sun damage, and improve brain function. Not that you needed any more excuses to indulge in a decadent serving of dark chocolate.

 

http://naturalsociety.com/chocolate-enhance-visual-performance-improve-eyesight/
http://www.wholehealthinsider.com/newsletter/dark-chocolates-surprising-effects-eyes/
http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/age-related-macular-degeneration-overview
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