Health Expert Says Yes, In Moderation
That sighing you hear across America is coming from excited women. That’s because chocolate is apparently good for you — in some ways.
The latest research shows that chocolate contains lots of antioxidants, called flavonoids, which are found in some fruit, according to health experts.
In a 40-gram serving of chocolate, there are 400 milligrams of flavonoids, which is about the same amount as in a glass of red wine — a proven heart helper.
Drinking a moderate amount of cocoa may also help reduce blood clots, by relaxing the inner surface of blood vessels, which keeps blood pressure down and prevents hardening of the arteries.
Chocolate also serves as a cholesterol buster. It lowers the oxidation of the bad cholesterol LDL. When LDL forms plaque on artery walls more easily when it’s oxidized.
Also, despite intense cravings that you may have for chocolate, researchers says that it is not addictive.
Cravings do, however, peak for women before and during their menstrual cycles.
Chocolate’s also not as bad for your teeth as foods with the same sugar content. Edell says that there is a substance in chocolate that inhibits the germs that promote plaque.
Of course, chocolate’s not perfect. It does contain active mood-altering chemicals, such as caffeine, but the level is very low. Edell says that, in theory, you could get high on chocolate, but you’d have to eat 27 pounds at one sitting.
Most chocolate goodies are also high in fat and calories. So, if you eat too much of it, you’ll gain weight, which is not good for your heart.
The key, as always, is moderation.