It’s Okay to Savor Chocolate (Guilt Free!)

By J. Christy McKibben

Chocolate. Need I say more? If you’re anything like me, that rich and satisfying confectionery calls to you over and over again—and I’m never able to resist the call.

Chocolate. Healthy? I know—there has to be a catch. There is. Milk chocolate and white chocolate don’t provide any health benefits…but dark chocolate does—yaaay! So stick with the dark chocolate and forget the others. Also, try to find organic chocolate, if at all possible.

So…what are some of the health benefits of eating dark chocolate?

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The most obvious health benefit is how chocolate can make you feel. It tastes good; and it stimulates your brain to release certain kinds of hormones, called endorphins. Think about when you’re exercising. You feel great when you’re done. That’s the release of endorphins, and that’s what you get when you eat dark chocolate. This certainly doesn’t mean you can replace exercise with chocolate—it’s just nice to know that there is a real physiological impact when you eat dark chocolate.

Antioxidants are probably the main health benefit found in dark chocolate. Flavanols work as antioxidants and are found in dark chocolate. Flavanols lower blood pressure. They improve the flow of blood to both your heart and your brain. Your chances of having a stroke are reduced. These antioxidants also reduce the LDL (lousy) cholesterol and increase the HDL (healthy) cholesterol.

In Moderation, of Course…

Generally it’s okay to eat a very small amount of dark chocolate each day. The main thing to remember is that it’s all about portion control. Don’t go crazy. In this case, it’s true that too much of a good thing may not be a good thing. Try to keep it to one serving per day.

Delight in the Dark

So now you know, there are health benefits that some chocolate provides. You can allow yourself to take great pleasure in it—live it up! You can truly have a love-love relationship with chocolate (at least the dark variety).

-J. Christy McKibben

Image via Pixabay by jackmac34

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