The Surprising Health Benefits of Chocolate

Jun 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm |

dark chocolate

(Photo by shutterstock)

Is Chocolate Good For You?

Alright chocolate lovers, start stocking up on chocolate bunnies and Hershey bars, because there’s some good news about that sweet treat.

A recent study in the journal Heart has found that chocolate eaters have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Did your sweet tooth just jump out of your mouth in excitement? Well, not so fast. The study was conducted with a pill form of chocolate cocoa which removed much of the fat and sugar that tends to come with chocolate. So while cocoa may be good for the heart, all that other stuff might not be.

Specifically, researchers looked at cocoa and polyphenols, a bioactive plant compound that’s terrific in helping fight heart disease. Polyphenols help in building the strength of our blood vessels, which in turn help the heart do what it does.

How to Get the Most From Chocolate

Researchers showed that the groups that benefited most from chocolate consumed 16 to 100 grams a day. A normal chocolate bar is about 40 to 45 grams. Yum!

However, if you’re looking to consume a good amount of chocolate (for the sake of your heart, of course) you should concentrate on dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa (which is why it’s dark). The richer the chocolate, the more tannins and polyphenols it will contain.

We recommend actually sucking on the dark chocolate, because studies have shown that dark chocolate can help improve your gums and teeth by providing tannins that can fight bacteria in your mouth to prevent cavities. A heart strengthener and a gum builder — is there anything that chocolate can’t do?

One more reason to stock up on Goobers…