Many people ask me is chocolate good for health? The answer to that is somewhat two-fold. Dark chocolates contain some of the same potent antioxidants and phenols found in red wine, including resveratrol. In chocolate bars, phenols help in preserving fats while in the body they prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Chocolate’s antioxidants also gobble up destructive molecules and free radicals which are the main contributors for developing heart diseases and other illnesses, which helps answer the question is chocolate good for health?
Unfortunately, chocolate does contain saturated fat, and saturated fat is normally a bad thing when it comes to cardiovascular health. Some research indicates that the fat in chocolate is not a problem because it contains stearic acid, which is “cholesterol-neutral.”
That is to say, the body still processes the fat as fat, just not as bad fat. It might increase your waistline but chocolate fat won’t contribute to your level of bad cholesterol. (However, that same fat may increase your waistline which makes chocolate bad for your health if your doctor has put you on a diet).
What Makes Chocolate Good For Health?
You probably didn’t know that cocoa is actually a fruit – and actually one of the most healthy fruits commonly eaten by man! Having a sweet tooth for chocolate can be a good thing.
Cocoa has been around for thousands of years and was found in a 2,600 year-old Mayan ceramic container in Belize. The scientific name of chocolate is theobroma cacao. When literally translated, it means “food of the gods”.
Chocolate is also full of anandamide and phenylethylamine, two compounds that cause the body to release the same feel-good endorphins triggered by sex and physical exertion. Cocoa also contains methylxanthines, which make skin sensitive to every touch. Aim for dark chocolate, which packs more cocoa than lighter milk chocolates, and keep portions small.
Dark chocolate is made from pure cocoa beans (contain high levels of antioxidants) with minimal to no sugar added. A bar of dark chocolate provides a level of protection against free radicals, is also known to lower blood pressure, and due to its flavonoids, can keep arteries from clogging.
The only thing that makes chocolate bad for your health is the sugar, chemicals and fat in processed chocolate bars, candies and cake. When you find organic dark chocolate, you’ll begin to see the dark chocolate health benefits.
Is Chocolate Bad For Your Health?
There’s nothing in cocoa beans that are bad for your health. In fact, they’re the number 1 source of Magnesium for your body. But it’s also a great source of Copper. Magnesium your body needs regularly and often, Copper on the other hand can be an issue if you ‘overdose’ – so think of chocolate as a healthy snack.
Not Health Food.
And then there’s the sugar, and the fat and the milk solids. None of that is good for you. Which reminds me, white chocolate is not chocolate at all – it’s just sugar so stay away from that.
Otherwise, eat dark chocolate whenever possible, eat chocolate in moderation and when you’re not eating chocolate – take a complete antioxidant, resveratrol supplement to keep getting all the benefits.
Three studies that were reviewed for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology lead researchers to believe that eating chocolate may have a protective effect against strokes. One serving a week could be all it takes.