Every day we seem to hear more good news about the many health benefits of good quality dark chocolate. With good reason too, as numerous research studies confirm that moderate consumption of dark chocolate can help reduce cholesterol and protect the heart.
Dark chocolate contains essential antioxidants and flavanoids. These are found naturally in plants and fruits – such as the cocoa bean – helping to shield them from environmental toxins. So when we consume chocolate we too benefit from the power of antioxidants.
But before you reach for a quick-fix bar of cheap chocolate, take note: the health benefits are derived only from quality dark chocolate containing a high percentage of cocoa solids.
Mass-produced, cheap chocolate is highly processed. Its main components are milk, refined sugar and vegetable fat, which are far cheaper and more plentiful commodities compared to cocoa and cocoa butter. This makes it cheaper to buy but it’s widely considered to be unhealthy and encourage weight gain. In contrast, high quality dark chocolate is rich in cocoa butter and cocoa solids and so can be eaten in moderate quantities to enhance health.
Heart protection isn’t the only health benefit of chocolate. If you’re reading this whilst at work, take note: consuming just 40g of high quality chocolate a day has also been found to reduce stress. Time to take a break …