All this month we’ve been celebrating American Heart Month. And what’s a celebration without a little dessert at the end? We’re talking chocolate.
Does Chocolate Have Health Benefits?
The short answer is: maybe.
Many studies have tried to answer this question. What researchers find interesting is the antioxidant properties of chocolate, which protect the body from free radical damage; and chocolate’s effect on lowering blood pressure. So it seems that chocolate is a health-food.
Here’s where the “maybe” comes in:
- The benefits come from dark chocolate (at least 65% cocoa content), not from milk or white or any of your favorite chocolates that have things like caramel added to them. Doubtless there are people who have simply read the headlines and granted themselves free reign to eat a daily Snickers bar.
- You have to eat a few hundred calories of dark chocolate to realize the health benefits. This can easily lead to weight gain and displacing other nutritious foods we should be eating daily.
So what does it all mean? It means that moderate amounts of chocolate in our diets are fine as long as we’re eating all of the other nutritious foods we need. What’s life without a little treat? And for many people (including yours truly) that means chocolate.
So find a delicious dark chocolate bar and savor some of it once in awhile. Better yet, pair it with a glass of red wine and you’ll have an all-natural dessert both you and your heart will enjoy.