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Chocolate…The Healthy Candy?

Apr 6th, 2012

chocolateIt’s Easter soon and a lot of us may be looking forward to indulging in chocolate. Years ago, people did so with guilt. Chocolates, as with any other candy, were associated with tooth decay and added calories. As they say, “if it tastes so good, it must be bad for you”.

Or is it?

Recent studies found chocolate to actually be healthy.  Various studies by universities and organizations have outlined the many health benefits we can get from eating chocolate.

Improves blood flow. David Katz, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center even called it a “health food”. Through dark chocolate and liquid cocoa, Katz discovered that chocolates have immediate potential benefits on our blood flow. This supports other studies that claim chocolates can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Longevity. A different study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that chocolates when eaten in moderation can actually make you live longer. People who ate chocolates three times a month live longer than those who eat them at least three times a week or none at all.

Lower BMI. This may sound ironic but chocolates may actually work to your advantage if you’re watching your weight. Frequent chocolate eaters have lower BMI (body mass index) according to a study from the University of California.

Fights Cancer. Cacao beans are a rich source of antioxidants that fight cell damage that lead to tumor growth. So it’s important to choose dark chocolates that have a high percentage of cacao. Antioxidants also fight cardiovascular diseases, rapid aging and cancer.

Prevents Tooth Decay. I bet of all the benefits mentioned, this one stands out the most. How can chocolate prevent tooth decay you ask? Chocolates contain theobromine that gets rid of streptococcus mutans that causes tooth decay.

The key is in eating the right kind of chocolates and finding the right amount that will give your health optimum benefits. Choose pure dark chocolates because they contain about 65% cacao. The ideal serving is about 1 ounce per day. Make sure that when you buy chocolates, they don’t have high sugar and fat content.

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