The Goods on Chocolate

Everyone loves chocolate, right? Well, almost everyone. And no wonder. Chocolate is made from the fruit of Theobroma Cacao – Greek for ‘Food of the Gods’. Who could resist that?

The general pervading belief, however, is that chocolate is bad for you. But is it really? The good news is, there are plenty of reasons to indulge in the food of the gods. In moderation.

Consuming chocolate causes the release of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins – happiness neurotransmitters. So chocolate makes you happy. We knew that. But these mood improving chemicals can also combat mental fatigue and improve cognitive performance

A potent source of anti-oxidants, chocolate contains Flavonols that can protect the skin against sun damage and help contribute to a healthy-looking skin glow by modulating a healthy blood flow. Speaking of blood, chocolate creates higher levels of nitric oxide, which improves the inner linings of the blood cells.

Still not convinced? Chocolate contains polyphenols, which increase the good kind of cholesterol, and in fact also improves vascular function, helping to modulate insulin and regulate glucose uptake.

A small piece of chocolate, melted on your tongue will trigger the hormones that tell your brain you are full – thereby helping to control hunger.

I could go on, but you get the idea. The food of the gods can be very good for you.

But? Milk chocolate also contains a great deal of sugar and fats in the form of mild solids. And I don’t need to tell you why they are bad. These sugars and fats can reverse many of the health benefits of the food of the gods. Dark chocolate, however, has a much lower sugar and fat content.

So along with your apple a day to keep the doctor away, try a small piece of dark chocolate. You might be surprised by the results.

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