Cocoa comes from the seed of the Theobroma cacao tree. Chocolate/Cocoa has become one of the most popular food flavors in the world. It is probably the most recognized flavor globally. There are a variety of chocolates available in the market with varying levels of cocoa, sugar, and other flavors and foods. But researchers have seen more benefits from chocolate with a higher concentration of cocoa, or what we even call dark chocolates. The basic ingredients in dark chocolate bars are cacao beans, sugar, an emulsifier such as soy lecithin to preserve texture, and flavorings such as vanilla. Dark chocolate is often distinguished by the percentage of cocoa solids in the bar. The cocoa content of commercial dark chocolate bars can range from 30% (sweet dark) to 70%, 75%, or even above 80% for extremely dark bars.
It's said that dark chocolate can be good for your heart and researchers have discovered why. It may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis - thickening and hardening of the arteries - by restoring flexibility of the arteries and preventing white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls. Also, Louisiana State University researchers tested cocoa powders in a model of the digestive tract and found that certain bacteria in the stomach eat dark chocolate, ferment it and then release anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart.
According to Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study authors. “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones. The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” Moore said in the news release. "When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory." Study leader John Finley, a professor in LSU's department of food science, said, "When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke." As it is clear from what the researchers said, that dark chocolates are healthy but one should always have it in small portions. Add a piece of dark chocolate if you have a sugar craving. Remember one piece will never harm you but eating any food (healthy or not) in excess can trigger health problems.