Nutrition: The Health Benefits of Chocolate
Do white chocolate and milk chocolate have health benefits?
Sorry, but, no. They lack the flavonoids that make chocolate beneficial. Flavonoids are the natural compounds that have antioxidant properties.
So is all dark chocolate good for you?
Unfortunately, it's the healthy part of dark chocolate--the flavonoids-- that gives dark chocolate its bittersweet taste, so candy makers often remove them. And since manufacturers are not required to label the amount of flavonoids their product contains, if it doesn't say it has flavonoids, you can't assume it does.
But, if you find a dark chocolate bar with flavonoids, studies have shown that it may help to improve your circulation, and lower your blood pressure. Some candy makers are now producing dark chocolate bars that are high in flavonoids to meet the growing consumer demand.
How much dark chocolate do I need to eat for it to be beneficial?
The studies showed that as little as 4g is beneficial (that's about 1/3 of a Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bar). In the blood pressure lowering study, the patients ate the equivalent of 1.5 Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses.
So should my chocolate motto be, "the more the better?"
Regrettably, the answer is no. Chocolate has lots of fat, sugar and caolries that need to be accounted for in your overall diet.
Remember, as in all good things, moderation is the key!
Information compiled from studies reported in the American Heart Association and The Lancet medical journals.
Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.
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