In what I consider one of the biggest news flashes of all time, recent studies have linked chocolate with health benefits. Really?
Many of us who have chocolate on our daily menu are clinging to the hope that our vice can actually boost good health. But what are the benefits of eating chocolate, and do all types of chocolate qualify?
Most reports claim that chocolate in small daily quantities can have a positive health benefit on the human body. We already know it has a great effect on our emotions, right?
to eat chocolate. The new news is that our enjoyment may not be as bad for us as originally thought. But the benefits seem to be funneled down to one type of chocolate: dark chocolate
Believe it or not, dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than strawberries! Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of cocoa (so the most antioxidants) -- more than milk chocolate or white chocolate -- and the least amount of milk, which can interfere with the antioxidant absorption.
Some of the benefits attributed to dark chocolate:
- Reduced risk of heart attack
- Improved circulation
- Decreased headaches
- Decreased blood pressure
- Reduced stress
Heart health seems to be the biggest promise and the one that captures our imagination most. Just think of it -- decreased risk of heart disease because we eat chocolate ... sounds like a dream come true!
This gives new meaning to those little foil-wrapped chocolate hearts!
How Much Chocolate Provides Health Benefits?
The health benefits of chocolate are still being studied and disputed, so as with anything else, eat chocolate in moderation. Stick to dark chocolate, as it is the only type of chocolate associated with most of these benefits. Milk chocolate and white chocolate contain fats that make those delicious, but less healthy, options.
Many reports advise indulging in just a couple ounces of dark chocolate a day. So there you have it -- as if you needed a reason to eat chocolate!
Stay tuned as the studies continue. In the meantime, enjoy your dark chocolates in moderation and guilt free!
Are you a dark chocolate fan? Then you'll like these recipes that focus on the sophistication of dark chocolate:
And here's a super easy recipe to make Dark Chocolate Truffles