Are you ready to indulge in some chocolate this Valentine’s Day? Before you do, it’s important to know that while certain types of chocolate can have health benefits, too much of it is not good for you. So, before you start munching on those chocolates, let’s take a closer look at the potential health benefits of chocolate and what it means to eat it guilt-free.
One aspect of chocolate that might 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, including 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 these beneficial flavonoids. Dark chocolate is richer in these beneficial compounds compared to milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa. For example, dark chocolate may contain 70% cocoa while milk chocolate contains around 25% cocoa. Additionally