Although it’s American Chocolate Week, we here at Vitals believe in celebrating responsibly. So instead of cramming handfuls of Milk Duds in your mouths, we suggest having a piece of dark chocolate instead and reaping the health benefits!
We all know that chocolate is made with cocoa beans, but what many don’t know is that cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids.
Flavonoids act as an antioxidant, helping the body repair damage to cells caused by oxidation – a result of the release of free radicals through bodily processes, like breathing. An increase in oxidation can cause a spike in LDL, or bad cholesterol – a major contributor to heart disease.
In addition, the specific type of flavonoid found in chocolate – flavanol – is thought to improve vascular health, lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow to the heart and brain, and preventing clotting.
So, eating chocolate can be good for your heart! But not so fast…
The only way to avoid cancelling out these benefits is to stick to dark chocolate, and only in moderation.
Dark chocolate, if not overly processed, contains more flavanol than milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa, so this is your best bet.
(Source: Cleveland Clinic)