Chocolate: Good For You
Chocolate is now being recognized as a health food not only because it is a source of important nutrients like magnesium, copper, potassium and B vitamins, but also because it is rich in flavonoids, particularly one called epicatechin, that helps the heart other things.
Here are some of benefits of eating chocolate:
-Lowers insulin resistance
-Reduces chronic fatigue
-Lowers kidney cancer risk
-Reduces sun damage to skin
-Reduces persistent coughs
Chocolate contains stearic acid, which does not raise heart disease risk, but the flavonals may actually reduce heart disease along with exercise and eat a healthy diet.
Chocolate reduces heart disease:
-Keeps arteries relaxed
-Reduces blood clots
-Lowers LDL cholesterol
-Raises HDL cholesterol
-Reduce blood pressure
-Antioxidants/polyphenols raise nitric oxide, boost immune system, prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, help blood vessels to dilate, prevent plaque build-up & protect against cancer, MI & stroke; phenylethylamine, anandamide & serotonin lift depression, provide a sense of well-being/euphoria,
-Magnesium regulates heart rhythms & reduces LDL cholesterol;
-Copper boosts immune system, prevents anemia
Before you reach for a candy bar, keep in mind that not all chocolate has the same benefit.
-Dark chocolate has 4 times the concentration of phenols as milk chocolate. Adding milk to chocolate cancels out the beneficial antioxidant - the protein in milk binds with the antioxidants making them less well absorbed by the body.
-The more sugar and added fat the chocolate contains, the less beneficial it will be. Sugar increases oxidation in the body and cancels the antioxidant protection.
-The standard manufacturing of chocolate eliminates as much as 50-75% of the flavonoids due to high temperatures and alkalization. Some companies are lowering the heat used during processing and avoiding alkalization to preserve up to 95% of chocolate flavonoids. Avoid dutch processed cocoa – it is higher in alkaloids and removes 75-90% of the flavonoids
-Researchers suggest chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa content to obtain benefits.
Best Sources of Chocolate:
-Dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, 85% cocoa solids, 99% cocoa solids
-Dark chocolate bar with fruit, nuts, essential oils
Poor Sources of Chocolate Flavonoids:
-Milk chocolate, candy bar, white chocolate, chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream
-We only need 1 ounce of 70% chocolate or 2/3 ounce of 80% chocolate to obtain benefits