I get asked every day why I have dark chocolate in my office. Cocoa beans contain strong antioxidants benefiting both oral hygiene and overall bodily health. Dark chocolate is the least processed, containing the most cocoa and therefore the highest concentration of antioxidants.
Three main antioxidants in chocolate are tannins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Tannins are responsible for dark chocolate’s bitter taste, but more importantly prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to teeth. If bacteria cannot stick to your teeth it is much harder for them to cause plaque buildup.
Oral bacteria causes tooth decay by turning sugars into acid, which in turn damages tooth enamel. Polyphenols neutralize these bacteria, therefore preventing tooth decay. Polyphenols also fight bacteria responsible for bad breathe.
Dark chocolate has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cognitive function and control blood sugar. Just like everything else, keep it in moderation!