Wellness Wednesday: Dark Chocolate

Hershey’s. Snickers. Just the thought of chocolate makes most people’s mouth water. It’s a fact of life- chocolate is delicious.  Unfortunately, parents try to limit the amount we eat, claiming it is bad for our health. However, studies show that dark chocolate is actually good for you!

Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but good for you. Photo by Sanika

Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but good for you. Photo by Sanika

There are many healthy sides to dark chocolate. Primarily, it is good for your heart because it prevents the formation of blood clots and improves blood flow. It also lowers blood pressure and may reduce the risk of having arteriosclerosis, a disease in which your arteries harden.

Dark chocolate could even contribute to your success in school because it helps blood flow to the brain, so your brain is more alert and active in class. It keeps blood circulating well throughout your body, which may prevent the risk of stroke. The flavonoids (a group of phytochemicals that plants produce) in this kind of chocolate help to control blood sugar and insulin levels. It also contains tons of antioxidants, which get rid of the oxidative damage to cells. Antioxidants can even help to protect people from cancer!

And who said chocolate is bad for your teeth? Dark chocolate has theobromine, which hardens tooth enamel and helps greatly if paired with proper brushing habits. So along with toothpaste, maybe dentists should recommend Halloween candy.

Lastly, dark chocolate has a high value of vitamins and minerals. Research has proven that it contains the following:

  • Iron, which helps all of the body get oxygen (with too little, people tend to get sick often).
  • Copper, which assists in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Potassium, which is greatly important to carry out cellular functions.
  • Magnesium, which is responsible for maintaining potassium in cells.

So it’s true, something that tastes good can actually be remotely healthy. However, you should never eat too much of anything and, the same rule applies to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation; physicians recommend no more than three times a week.