The Truth About the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
I have always heard that there were benefits of eating dark chocolate. This really got me excited…since I am a HUGE fan of chocolate and candy in general (probably why I LOVE Chocolate Shakeology). But there’s no way it can be true, can it? It’s one of those “too good to be true” type of things, right? Well…I decided to look into it a little bit more before I included it in my Weight Loss Advice posts. Here is what I found…
Research published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and others have examined this question – and the answers are promising.
It starts with the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate. Antioxidants can be thought of as scavengers in the body that gobble up dangerous free radicals and other destructive molecules.
Think of antioxidants like Pac-Man – and the destructive molecules as the Ghosts in the game that Pac-Man gobbles.
Of course antioxidants aren’t just in dark chocolate – they’re in fruit and veggies, tea, and loads of other foods. But dark chocolate is one of the highest sources of antioxidants called flavonoids and catechins, two powerful ones.
Of course other foods are better sources of other antioxidants, so variety is key.
A recent study published in the Southern Medical Journal examined the effects of dark chocolate on inflammation, lipid levels, and the stickiness of the blood in 28 individuals.
They fed the individuals 1 oz of dark chocolate daily for 7 days.
- LDL (the bad cholesterol) dropped by 6%
- HDL (the good cholesterol) increased by 9%
- hsCRP (inflammatory marker) decreased
While this was a short study, it can be combined with the other positive data that are available to support the inclusion of dark chocolate into the diet. Other studies suggest including dark chocolate into a varied diet lowers blood pressure too.
(Read more at Men’s Health: http://blogs.menshealth.com/bellyoff-nutritionist/dark-chocolate-health-benefits-2/2012/02/13/#ixzz1q3h0kiGg)
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