Body Buzz: Dark Chocolate- Good For Your Health?

February 15th, 2007 // 2 Comments

Could a luscious dark chocolate truffle be a cure for heart disease and diabetes? Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. But research has shown that dark chocolate can, in fact, be good for your health. Unfortunately though, it’s a high-calorie treat and as much as it pains me to say, I wouldn’t recommend it being the focal point of your wellness plan. Moderation is the key here, when it comes to unlocking the benefits of that seductive little cocoa bean.

Research has found that unlike white or milk chocolate, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants work together with other chemicals in the chocolate, making it difficult to extract for use in a supplement and isolating the antioxidants, which can aid in preventing the damage of free radicals on our cells. (Free radicals have been linked to heart disease and cancer as well as more benign conditions like wrinkles.)

The antioxidants also lower blood pressure by expanding blood vessels and help cells use glucose more efficiently by improving insulin sensitivity. All of these effects directly contribute to better heart health; however, more research will need to be done to determine whether diabetics and hypertensives would also benefit from this tasty and possibly life-extending treat.

More health justifications for inhaling dark chocolate after the jump…

When choosing dark chocolates, opt for the more expensive ones, as they usually have higher levels of flavonoids. Buy chocolate that is bittersweet with at least 60 percent cocoa content.

It’s too much to hope that a daily recommendation for dark chocolate consumption is going to be released by the F.D.A any time soon, mostly because the therapeutic level varies greatly depending on the type and the source of chocolate. Some of studies indicate that health benefits can be seen after the consumption of 3.5 ounces–a block of chocolate about the size of a deck of cards. Since this is nearly 500 calories, you need to think about other ways to get your antioxidants–like by eating veggies and fruits and drinking teas. Otherwise you will need to work out a lot more in order to control your weight.

So before you run out and buy a chocolate fountain for your house, keep in mind that chocolate is still at the top of the food pyramid because of its high concentration of sugar and fat. But at the very least, if want to indulge in some chocolatey goodness, try to reach for the dark stuff. It’s better for you and will satisfy your sweet tooth in a way that only chocolate can.

  1. kiwi

    First red wine and now this? There IS a God!!!!!!

  2. Ah the benefits of dark chocolate! Not to mention Merlot!
    Zuuumie

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