I always just ate chocolate because it was a sweet tasting junk food item. Who knew that dark chocolate is good for you. One thing I like about it is that it is so fun and tasty to use in cooking that dark chocolate benefits seem secondary.
Lately it seems almost every chocolate product on the market has come out with a dark chocolate version. It may be that chocolate manufacturers were just looking to create some brand extension but what they didn’t know was that a new healthy snack was born. The cocoa bean like the coffee bean comes from a plant.
The secret ingredient in dark chocolate is the flavinoids which are type of antioxidant. Antioxidants keep the body from aging caused by free radicals which can cause damage to your body. If you can prevent free radicals from being created you can retard the aging process. In terms of antioxidants, you can think of dark chocolate as kind of a super hero with super powers and fights these free radicals that is trying to damage your body. In fact, dark chocolate contains a significant number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries).
One long term study tracked cardiac patients aged 45 to 70 who consumed chocolate for a period of ten years. The group that ate a few ounces of chocolate twice a week or more were 66 percent less likely to die from cardiac disease than those that didn’t eat chocolate. Even if the person only ate chocolate once a week the risk was reduced by 50%. Eating chocolate only once a month still dropped the risk by 27 percent. So even occasionally including it in your diet is beneficial as well. Heck, Even Dr. Oz hails the health benefits of dark chocolate.
One that that Jonny Bowden forgot to mention was that there was a new study on animals suggesting that eating dark chocolate may play a role in the prevention of colon cancer. Cocoa, the raw material in dark chocolate, contains a type of antioxidants called polyphenols, and it was shown to reduce the risk on colon cancer.