Many chocolate gurus swear by the ‘bitter-cousin’ of milk chocolate.
However, an 80% dark chocolate bar does require a refined pallet and, like most indulgences, we need to look at the benefits first.
Dark chocolate has a long history, dating back 3,000 years.
It was first used as a drink in Central and South America circa 1900 B.C and was later used by the Aztecs and Mayans for ceremonial purposes.
In the early 1500s, the Spanish came across chocolate and brought it back to Europe.
And as they say, the rest is history!
With Easter being the time of sweet indulgences and chocolate rabbits with chewed-off ears, what are the benefits of switching to dark chocolate, and how does it affect our hearing?
According to one study, dark chocolate includes zinc, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps people with sudden sensorineural hearing loss by reducing the oxidative stress of the cochlea.
These findings, together with zinc’s overall immune-boosting properties have led some experts to advocate eating zinc-rich foods to fit into a healthy hearing diet.
In another study to determine if eating chocolate (not only dark) could lower hearing loss in participants aged 40 to 64, it was found that ‘the rate of any hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral hearing loss) was significantly lower in the subjects who consumed chocolate (26.78%) than in those who did not (35.97%).
In addition, chocolate consumption decreased the risk of bilateral hearing loss (13.31% vs. 20.32%) and high-tone hearing loss (51.58% vs. 63.60%), respectively.
The final results of the study suggested ‘a chocolate-based diet may protect middle-aged people from hearing loss’.
With any study, it’s important to realise that only a small sample of people was used and the results state “may protect…’ on purpose.
Therefore, it is not recommended that you stockpile dark chocolate this Easter.
Having dark chocolate in moderation may be beneficial to your hearing, yet the best way to ensure your hearing health is always in check is to first book a hearing test at your nearest Hearing Works store.