Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist
When it comes to forbidden foods, chocolate often hits the top of the
list. Although it tastes sublime, everyone knows that chocolate is a
worthless junk food... isn't it? Some experts disagree and claim
chocolate actually offers a myriad of health benefits. It makes sense
that most of us want chocolate to be a health food, and perhaps that is
why researchers have taken to studying chocolate to examine this beloved
treat for any potential health benefits. And here's what they've
- Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which
have been shown to increase blood circulation. One study even
demonstrated that eating chocolate could improve brain function,
possibly due to improved blood flow to the brain.
flavonoids in chocolate also have powerful antioxidant properties that
may offer protection against degenerative diseases. Studies have shown
that high levels of flavonoids in the blood are associated with a lower
risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and certain types of
- Some research indicates that chocolate can
increase good cholesterol and prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing.
Since oxidized cholesterol is linked to heart disease, you can bet your
heart loves chocolate as much as your taste buds do!
Another study found that people eating a small amount of dark chocolate
on a daily basis had lower levels of a protein associated with
inflammation. Other studies demonstrate that chocolate may reduce the
occurrence of blood clots and can lower blood pressure. This adds up to a
lower risk of stroke.
Get the Right Stuff
Realizing that your favorite
treat might actually be good for you can cloud your judgment, but don`t
rush to the store and fill your basket with conventional milk chocolate
candies. Beneficial components in chocolate are mostly found in dark
chocolate. A high-quality organic dark or bittersweet chocolate is
ideal, since it will contain the most flavonoids and less of the refined
sugar commonly found in chocolate.
Eat The Right Amount
While chocolate may have
untold benefits, this is not a license to eat as much chocolate as you
can. Think moderation. Studies on chocolate show that one ounce of dark
chocolate daily is enough to produce results, so don`t think you need to
have several bars a day. But if you`d like to indulge in some dark
chocolate from time to time, your splurge can be more guilt-free knowing
there are some actual health benefits involved.
For More Information:
About the author
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance
writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong
believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern
disease. To learn more about getting healthy and fit through a
nourishing diet and healthy living, visit Elizabeth's blog: www.livingthenourishedlife.com