A Healthy Addiction?
I’ll admit it upfront. I’m a straight up, hard core chocoholic. I eat chocolate twice a day, every single day and have been for years. That being said, I’m a little picky. It’s got to be dark chocolate and as dark as possible at that. Lucky for me, dark chocolate comes with a whole slew of health benefits so I can feel a little better about my “addiction”.
Most dark chocolate bars contain antioxidants as well as the compound called epicatechin, which is a member of the plant flavoniods group. These flavoniods keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. So, by eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily, you may actually be reducing your risk of a heart attack. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, has been found to have the lowest amount of both epicatechin and antioxidants.
However, not all chocolate is equal. In order to reap the benefits, you have to seek out the chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa and make sure that the flavoniods have not been destroyed in the manufacturing process, as they sometimes are. Interestingly enough, consuming dark chocolate while drinking milk has also been shown to counteract the positive benefits, just like milk chocolate. And remember, also, that chocolate still is high in calories so be sure to portion a small amount for yourself rather than consuming the whole bar on one sitting (tough, but doable).