Are you having problems gaining the minerals in your diet that you need? Want to have peace of mind that you are getting all the essential minerals your body needs to stay healthy? Well, here are three easy ways dark chocolate can quickly help. But first, a bit about the cocoa plant.,The cocoa plant (Theobroma cacao) is a fruit from the cocoa tree, a 12 m evergreen in the family Malvaceae. Its seeds are cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and chocolate. The cocoa family of plants originates from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon basin.,The healthy form of chocolate consists of 70%, 80%, and 90% cocoa as these have LESS added SUGAR.,The 3 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate,Dark chocolate is LOADED with nutrients that can actually be good for you, but not a lot of people know that. It is made from the cacao tree’s seed and is one of the BEST sources of antioxidants.,But don’t get too excited. Dark chocolate has its downsides if eaten to excess. Here are two fundamental benefits of dark chocolate and another ‘maybe’ benefit.,#1. QUALITY dark chocolate with a HIGH cocoa content is nutritious with soluble fiber and, most importantly, MINERALS. 100 g of 80 percent dark cocoa contains two-thirds of the RDA for iron, a third of the RDA for magnesium, 90 percent for copper, and NEARLY ALL the manganese. It also has some phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.,#2. UNPROCESSED cocoa beans are loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins.,#3. This is the IFFY bit: Compounds in dark chocolate APPEAR to be HIGHLY protective against the oxidation of LOW-DENSITY lipoprotein, or LDL for short. LDL cholesterol is said to be “bad” cholesterol because it collects in the walls of blood vessels, therefore increasing the chances of health problems such as heart attacks or strokes. But the body NEEDS LDL to protect its nerves and make healthy cells and hormones. Some cholesterol comes from food, and the liver makes more. Cholesterol is insoluble in blood, so proteins carry it where it needs to go. These protein carriers are called LIPOPROTEINS.,Most of the cholesterol in the body is LDL. The rest is HIGH-DENSITY lipoprotein or HDL for short. HDL cholesterol is said to be “good” cholesterol because HDL channels LDL to the liver, where it is FLUSHED OUT of the body. Some believe that high HDL levels might protect against heart attacks and strokes. Chemically, LDL is a tiny blob made up of an outer rim of lipoprotein with a cholesterol center.,In the long run, eating dark chocolate SHOULD cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a LOWER risk of heart disease. For example, a study showed that eating chocolate twice a week lowers the risk of plaque calcification in the arteries by a third. However, consuming dark chocolate less often had no effect.,All in all, dark chocolate is tasty, contains much-needed minerals, and is packed with antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, but the cholesterol thing is not absolutely certain.,Your ultimate levels of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants from dark chocolate can be reached if you take note of the principles given in this article. Getting the proper mineral balance is not a pipe dream and has nothing to do with genetic makeup. Use the information here, and very soon, you will have confidence and satisfaction that you have the correct minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and especially the polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins your body needs that come from dark chocolate.