Sign Me Up!
Studies show that Dark Chocolate is chock full of nutrients like: Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Protein just to name a few.
Next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you don’t have to feel so guilty. According to writings published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine(1), our favorite sweet treat has some major health benefits. Dark chocolate, derived from the cacao seed, contains biologically active phenolic compounds which may impact aging, blood pressure, stress and atherosclerosis. The higher the cocoa content (dark chocolate is very high), the higher the benefits. Dark chocolate also contains less sugar and fat… so, much to my son’s utter sadness, this does not mean a Reese’s Cup a day will keep the doctor away.
Eating a small piece of dark chocolate everyday could have the following benefits:
- Lowering Cholesterol Levels
- Reducing Risks for Cardiovascular Disease
- Prevention of Cognitive Decline
- The brilliant minds over at Harvard Medical School have suggested that even drinking two cups of hot cocoa a day can reduce memory decline in older people. (4) What was I saying?…I need some cocoa…extra marshmallows.
Chocolate has also been studied and shown to have positive results in dealing with Strokes, Fetal Growth and Development, and Athletic Performance.
Now, I doubt we can just go crazy and eat all the chocolate we like whenever we want. We still have to consider Weight Gain, Sugar Content, and Migraine Risks. Everything in moderation.
(1) Latif, R. (2013, March). Chocolate/cocoa and human health: a review [Abstract]. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 71(2):63-8. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462053
(2) Allen, R. R., Carson, L., Kwik-Uribe, C., Evans, E. M., & Erdman, J. W.,. (2008, April). Daily consumption of a dark chocolate containing flavanols and added sterol esters affects cardiovascular risk factors in a normotensive population with elevated cholesterol. [Abstract]. Journal of Nutrition. 138(4):725-31. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356327
(3) Buitrago-Lopez, A., Sanderson, J., Johnson, L., Warnakula, S., Wood, A., Di Angelantonio, E., & Franco, O. H. (2011, August 29). Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. The BMJ, 343:d4488. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4488
(4) Sorond, F. A., Hurwitz, S., Salat, D. H., Greve, D., & Fisher, N. D. L. (2013, August 7). Neurovascular coupling, cerebral white matter integrity, and response to cocoa in older people. [Abstract]. Neurology. Retrieved from http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2013/08/07/WNL.0b013e3182a351aa.abstract