Valentine’s Day has arrived, and with it, the temptation to indulge in a box of chocolates. While it’s true that chocolate can be a delightful treat, too much of it isn’t good for your health. However, certain types of chocolate have been linked to health benefits.
For chocolate lovers, the idea that their favorite treat might actually be beneficial to their health is a welcome one. But before you start munching on those chocolates guilt-free, it’s important to understand what we mean by “healthy” and what we mean by “chocolate.”
One aspect of chocolate that could be good for your health is its source – 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 many other foods and drinks 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 ingredients in chocolate we consume today. It contains these beneficial flavonoids that give chocolate its health properties. Dark chocolate is richer in these beneficial compounds than milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa solids. It also has less sugar than milk chocolate which gives it a more bitter flavor but makes it even more beneficial for our health