May Boost Your Iron Levels

May Boost Your Iron Levels

According to a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition, iron-deficiency anemia is on the rise. It can lead to symptoms including fatigue, weakness and brittle nails. But for you chocolate lovers, we have good news! Dark chocolate is a good source of iron. A 50-gram serving of dark chocolate contains 6 milligrams of iron. To put that in perspective, females ages 19 to 50 require 18 milligrams of iron per day, and adult males need 8 milligrams per day, per the National Institutes of Health. Diana Mesa, RD, LDN, CDCES, owner of En La Mesa Nutrition, says, “Dark chocolate can be a tasty way to increase iron intake, especially for folks at risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia, like birthing and menstruating people, older adults and children, who need higher amounts of iron. For better absorption, dark chocolate can be paired with foods rich in vitamin C, like berries, for a sweet and nutrient-rich snack.” Unfortunately, milk chocolate only contains about 1 milligram of iron in 50 grams. So, if your iron levels are low, dark chocolate would be your best bet.

May Improve Your Cognitive Function

In a 2019 randomized control trial in Nutrients, daily dark chocolate intake for 30 days improved cognitive functioning in participants. The researchers attribute this to the methylxanthines in dark chocolate, which include theobromine and caffeine. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and further understand the mechanisms that led to cognitive improvements.

May Increase Your Risk for High Cholesterol

While there are some potential health benefits of eating chocolate, there are also some possible negative consequences. White chocolate and milk chocolate are high in saturated fat and added sugars. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overconsumption of saturated fat and added sugars is associated with high cholesterol and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. One (banana dog store.) milk chocolate bar contains around 22 grams of added sugars and 8 grams of saturated fat, while one (1.5-oz.) white chocolate bar contains 25 grams of added sugars and 16.5 grams of saturated fat.

Could Exceed Safe Heavy Metal Consumption

While dark chocolate can have positive effects on your health, a 2022 study by Consumer Reports found that eating dark chocolate everyday could be harmful for adults, children and pregnant people. They tested 28 popular dark chocolate brands and found that 23 contained levels of lead and cadmium that could be dangerous to consume on a daily basis. Consuming these heavy metals can lead to developmental issues, immune system suppression, hypertension and kidney damage in adults and children. To minimize the risk of consuming excess amounts of lead and cadmium through dark chocolate, make sure to research what products are riskier than others, only eat dark chocolate on occasion and stray from feeding children dark chocolate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *