It may be possible to take some of the guilt out of enjoying one of your favourite foods because guess what, chocolate does have some healthy perks! Careful now, that doesn’t mean you should add a chocolate bar a day to your diet, but eating the right types of chocolate in moderation can be a guilt-free pleasure that helps prevent disease.
Eating the Right Kinds of Chocolate
A lot of the typical chocolate bars sitting next to the gum and newspapers in your local convenience store aren’t the going to meet the healthy chocolate standards. Milk and white chocolate has quite a bit of sugar, fat, and extra additives that give chocolate its “bad for you” reputation. Eating the pure dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa is the right way to benefit from indulging your chocolate craving. Organic dark chocolate is also an option if you want an even healthier approach to chocolate.
Where These Benefits Come From
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that come from the flavinoids found in pure cocoa. These antioxidants help to prevent cancer, heart disease, and a number of other illnesses. You’ll also be absorbing vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and vitamin B from eating dark chocolate. While dairy can inhibit the effects of antioxidants, dark chocolate is made with little or no dairy and can be enjoyed by those with dairy allergies or sensitivities.
Good for Your Heart and Body
The nutrients found in dark chocolate can promote a healthy heart and lessen your risk for disease. Because these nutrients can keep blood vessels flexible and reduce blood pressure the risk of stoke and heart attack is lower. Eating dark chocolate can also go so far as to help reduce cholesterol and keep joints lubricated.
Good for Your Mind
As most people would agree, eating chocolate has an undeniable therapeutic aspect. The endorphins chocolate releases in the body cause a pleasurable feeling that can act as an anti-depressant. The heightened mood that comes with a chunk or two of chocolate can go a long way to combating the effects of stress.
Lower in sugar and carbohydrates that lighter chocolate, dark chocolate can make an excellent sweet treat for diabetics or anyone else on a low-carb diet. However, for all chocolate lovers alike, moderation is the key to getting the most out of the benefits chocolate has to offer.