5 reasons why chocolate is healthy for you

May 9, 2011

Some people are surprised to hear that there are indeed a lot of health benefits you can get out of chocolate. Dietitians, nutritionists, and researchers around the world might even say that chocolate is one of the ""super foods"" for its heart healthy chemical compounds and rich antioxidants.

1. Chocolate Antioxidants
Did you know that raw, unprocessed cocoa is actually the richest antioxidant food in the entire world? Antioxidants help protect our bodies from developing cancer, and it is recommended to get a minimum of 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC in antioxidants per day.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits
The stuff that makes up cocoa helps to reduce cardiovascular damage by increasing the production of good (HDL) cholesterol. This essentially clears up the blood vessels from harmful fats.
The flavonoids found in cocoa help to decrease clots from forming that can cause damage to the heart muscle blood vessels. These flavonoids allow stronger blood flow to the heart and allows for the blood vessels to dilate more easily. Additionally, cocoa has anti-inflammatory properties, which help stop inflammation from damaging our bodies.
3. Blood Pressure
Moderating our intake of dark chocolate on a regular basis helps decrease blood pressure in several situations, which essentially helps to decrease the damage to our heart vessels.
Just as well, coca is a renninangiotension enzyme inhibitor, which operates similarly in the way that many blood pressure pills and drugs work.
4. Oral Health
Believe it or not, but consuming dark cocoa and dark chocolate products can actually help to reduce dental cavities, prevent gum disease, and even decrease the amount of plaque found on our teeth. Of course, this won't be the case when the chocolate is loaded up with sugar, so choose high cacoa content chocolate (65% or higher) and skip the sugar.
5. Mental Alertness & Antidepressant
Other research has found that chocolate contains theobromine, a small amount of caffeine, and anandamide. These all act as mental alertness chemicals and help elevate our moods for a short period of time.
Antidepressant properties were proven by researchers when they discovered that both serotonin and dopamine levels increased after chocolate consumption. The carbohydrates and theobromine help stimulate the nervous system, which results in extra energy. Some research has also proven that chocolate can even be used to help stimulate women with low libidos.
This small summary of health benefits from cocoa and dark chocolate is enough proof as to why so many people call it a super food. One ounce of dark chocolate at 65% of greater cocoa content is a great addition to your daily diet and for optimal health results.
(Source: ezinearticles.com)