This Valentine’s Day, you may have received a box of chocolates as a gift. If you did, indulging in some sweets might have been a pleasure. But it’s important to remember that too much chocolate isn’t good for your health. However, there are certain types of chocolate that can offer health benefits.
For chocolate lovers, hearing that chocolate might be healthy is great news. But does this mean they can eat chocolate guilt-free? Well, it depends on what type of chocolate and what you mean by healthy.
One aspect of chocolate that can be beneficial to your health is that it comes from a plant, the cacao tree. Like fruits and vegetables, chocolate contains phytochemicals, which are compounds derived from plants and have health benefits.
Chocolate contains antioxidant flavonoids, which have various effects on the body’s physiological systems. These flavonoids are also found in a wide variety of other foods and beverages like fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea and wine. Some benefits associated with these flavonoids include improved blood clotting and reduced inflammation which can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke regulate insulin levels and reduce stress.
Cocoa is one of the main components of the chocolate we consume and it contains the flavonoids that provide health benefits. Dark chocolate which contains more cocoa is richer in these beneficial compounds compared to milk chocolate. For example dark chocolate may contain 70% cocoa while milk