Is Chocolate Good for Hair Growth?
Chocolate contains potassium, copper, iron and magnesium in high concentrations. These ingredients are beneficial for healthy hair and skin. And organic chocolate is the best since many regular chocolates may lose most of the healthy antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients through processing.
Why Dark Chocolate?
Not all chocolate is created equal; to be able to reap the benefits of this delicious treat, you need to make sure you’re not eating a variety that’s loaded with calories. This is all the more important because chocolate tastes good and it’s easy to overeat it!
Dark chocolate consists of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar with little or no milk. It can be described as semi-sweet with a slightly bitter flavour owing to its high cocoa and less sugar composition. Of all chocolate types, dark chocolate has the highest percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, ranging from 30-80% in cocoa solid make-up.
White chocolate can't really be called chocolate since it doesn't contain any cocoa solids or the non-fat part of the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter – the pale yellow, edible vegetable fat part of the cocoa bean – makes up the most part of white chocolate. Sugar and milk are added to the cocoa butter to make it creamy and better tasting
Milk chocolate has varying proportions of cocoa solids. The addition of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar makes milk chocolate the sweet creamy treat that is loved the world over.
When it comes to offering health benefits, white chocolate is a source of empty calories with its sugar and saturated fat content. Milk chocolate also packs more sugar and fats and less cocoa solids as compared to dark chocolate. The greater the cocoa percentage in the chocolate, the healthier it is, making dark chocolate with its high content of cocoa solids the healthiest variety.
But let's look at the 5 ways chocolate can help you grow fuller, healthier hair !
1. High in Iron
Your hair follicles need a strong supply of oxygen, nutrients, and minerals in order to grow healthy hair. You’ll also need good circulation and blood flow. That’s where iron comes into play. It helps form red blood cells to support blood flow to your scalp and is essential for transporting oxygen throughout your body. If you are low in iron, the nutrient supply to your hair follicles is disrupted. This can affect your hair growth cycle and lead to shedding.
Additionally, one of the leading causes of hair loss in women is hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. Iron powers an enzyme that helps your body produce thyroid hormones and it’s needed to convert your thyroid hormones to their active state. One ounce of dark chocolate contains 3.4 mg of iron, which is 19% of the recommended daily value (DV)!
2. Rich in Copper
Like iron, copper is also key for the production of red blood cells supporting the circulation needed to nourish your hair follicles. Copper also plays a role in the production of collagen – a protein that supports healthy hair, smooth skin, and strong nails. However, your body doesn’t produce copper naturally, so you’ll need to get it from your diet. Fortunately, you don’t need much, and dark chocolate contains 0.5 mg of copper per ounce, a whopping 25% of the DV!
3. Packed with Zinc
Did you know that low zinc levels can lead to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp? No one wants that! Plus, zinc is another nutrient needed to convert your thyroid hormones to an active state, powering your metabolism and fueling hair growth. It also helps regulate your levels of circulating thyroid hormones, so your body knows when you’re running low and need to ramp up production. Your body doesn’t store zinc, so you’ll need to eat small amounts each day to maintain healthy levels. By enjoying one ounce of dark chocolate, you get 0.9 mg of zinc, which is 5% of the DV.
4. Contains Antioxidants
Scientists now understand that oxidative stress created by free radicals is what causes us to age. Oxidative stress plays a big role in hair aging, leading to hair loss and even greying. Antioxidants, on the other hand, fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. It slows the aging process and the hair loss that goes along with it. Dark chocolate, in particular, contains high levels of a type of antioxidant calls flavanols. In addition to fighting oxidative stress, flavanols have been shown to improve blood flow (getting essential nutrients to your hair follicles) and reduce blood pressure!
5. Improves Your Mood
Have you ever wondered why you get so much joy from indulging in rich, chocolatey treats? It turns out, it’s more than chocolate’s delicious taste! Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that create feelings of pleasure. Plus, dark chocolate contains serotonin, a natural antidepressant that improves your mood. This is great news for your hair since stress is another common cause of hair loss!
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