The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

darkchocolateWhat makes dark chocolate so healthy?

Since chocolate is made from plants, it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants ( nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries).

Flavonoids also help reduce blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide and balance certain hormones in the body.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  • A small bar of dark chocolate every day can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well.
    • It will lower your blood pressure
    • Lower cholesterol – dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
  • It tastes good
  • Stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • Contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • Contains theobromine, caffeine and other substance which are stimulants

What about the fat in Chocolate you may ask?  The good news is some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. In fact only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you.

Now don’t get the idea that you can go out and eat as much dark chocolate as you like. Most of the studies done used no more the 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits. So eat your dark chocolate in moderation.

Don’t just gobble down your piece of chocolate. Take the time to taste and appreciate it. Chocolate is a complex food with over 300 compounds and chemicals in each bite.

Make sure you go for the pure dark chocolate, which has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Most of all avoid drinking milk with your chocolate. It could prevent the antioxidants from being absorbed or used by your body.

My favorite drink with my piece of dark chocolate is a glass of red wine. Both have antioxidants and compliment each other rather well.

Here’s to your health,

Lori Wilkinson

P.S. Is you health out of control? Need help developing a plan for a healthy lifestyle? Click here for a Free 45 minute lifestyle consultation.

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