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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Love Dark Chocolate? Find out why you should….

If you’re anything like us, we love chocolate, milk chocolate is our favorite, but we can also appreciate dark chocolate for it’s health benefits.  It has so many health benefits because it has high levels of flavonoids, which provide a boost in antioxidants for you.  Joy DuBost, an American Dietetic Association spokesman recommends the darker the chocolate the better, eat less-processed chocolate that contains at least 65% cacao.  While dark chocolate has its health benefits, you should only eat 1 – 2 ounces max, a day, it still has fat and calories you don’t want to load up on.  We’re going to list below some reasons why you should indulge in those 1 – 2 ounces a day to keep your health in good standing.

Heart Disease Prevention –Studies concluded that individuals who ate more chocolate had a 37% lower risk of any heart disease than those who ate less amounts of chocolate.

Decreased Stroke Risk – In a study done by Swedish researchers, women who ate high amounts of chocolate (two candy bars per week) lowered their stroke risk by 20%.  While more research is needed to confirm the exact amount and types of flavonoid-rich chocolates needed to lessen stroke risk, a British study found that individuals who ate more chocolate were 30% less likely to have a stroke.

Increased Good Cholesterol – Dark chocolate is a cholesterol superfood.  The cocoa butter in the dark chocolate is what increases the good cholesterol.  Researchers won’t go as far as to say chocolate is the cholesterol cure-all, but it has qualities that are a step in the right direction.

Improved Vision – The flavonoid in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the brain, which improve blood flow to the retina and helps to maintain and increase eyesight. 

Enhanced Mood – The fatty acids in the chocolate stimulate the neural activity in the areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward.  Eating chocolate triggers the brain to feel delighted.

All these benefits to chocolate make us want to go have chocolate right now.  Chocolate contains many ingredients that are good for your health, but just like anything else, it should be done in moderation.  If you follow the suggested max of 1-2 ounces a day, not only will you have the opportunity to improve you health, but feel good while you do it and get your chocolate fix in for the day.  We hope that these tips have been informative to you and have given you a reason to have chocolate every day and feel guilt free for it.

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