The health promoting properties of dark chocolate have been well understood for some time, but the reason behind it was not fully understood…until now. Researchers have established that the health promoting effects of dark chocolate probably comes down to the way our guts ferment the fibre in cocoa beans. It seems that the good bacteria in our gut (bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria) love a bit of dark chocolate too! The presence of dark chocolate encourages more good bacteria to ferment it which in turn produces compounds that are anti- inflammatory. The anti- inflammatory properties therefore help to protect the heart and blood vessels.
Mail Online, (2014). Why dark chocolate really IS good for you: Stomach microbes turn cocoa into a natural drug that reduces blood pressure. Retrieved 21st March, 2014, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2586142/Why-dark-chocolate-really-IS-good-Stomach-microbes-turn-cocoa-natural-drug-reduces-blood-pressure.html