Yes, it sounds like a dream come true but, believe it or not, eating chocolate can actually be good for you. Hold on just minute, though! Before you run to the corner store and buy out the candy aisle, there are a few critical facts you need to know. As with nearly all the information we’ve learned about eating choices, moderation is, of course, the key. With that in mind let’s talk about how you may be able to incorporate the emerging health benefits of chocolate into your life and how it could benefit you in the long run.
Behold! The Health Benefits of Chocolate
The first and most crucial detail behind all of this healthy chocolate hoopla is that ONLY dark chocolate fits the bill when it comes to actually benefitting your health. Yes, you read that correctly. The chocolate also known as semisweet (or even bittersweet) and is often used in baking is what we’re talking about, here. It’s darker because it contains more beneficial flavonoids and more bitter because there is very little (if any) sugar added to it.
The antioxidants in dark chocolate are the big contributors to your health, though, and that’s why milk chocolate loses out here. The milk in milk chocolate latches onto these valuable antioxidants and won’t let go, so your body never gets a chance to benefit from them. While milk chocolate still retains some antioxidants, dark chocolate will often have 8 to 10 times as many – a clear winner.
Research has also shown that dark chocolate can reduce high blood pressure and can also boost blood flow through the liver, reducing your risk of cirrhosis. Some studies have also indicated other benefits including increased moisture in your skin, healthier teeth due to it’s antibacterial properties, and increased focus thanks to more blood getting to the brain. It’s even been shown to help you before, during, and after workouts, thanks to all of those antioxidants.
Now, as for how much you should be eating, more definitely does not equal better. Researchers say you should consistently consume about 40 grams of dark chocolate (containing at least 60% cocoa) per day, and do so with small, 5 gram pieces spread throughout the day. Just let it melt on your tongue and you’re good to go! Who knew there could be such a tasty health food?