WE ALL KNEW THERE WAS A REASON…
Whether you’re gifting it or devouring it this month – or any month for that matter – chocolate will always deliver smiles. We hear all of the rumors – it’s bad for you, it makes you gain weight, it’s not healthy. While that may stand true for certain types, dark chocolate is surprisingly healthy for you.
If you’re not jumping for joy like I am you might want to stop reading because I think I’m unnaturally ecstatic over this fact…Although slightly bitter, I’d choose that flavor over the sugar, milk and butter that is pumped into milk and white chocolates. Here are my top three reasons why you should be eating dark chocolate this Valentine’s Day:
When shopping at the grocer you may occasionally glance across packaging that says “75% Cacao.” Cacao are the bean-like seeds that cocoa butter and chocolate are made from. The healthiest dark chocolate has the highest content of cacao because there are more nutrients and antioxidants in the chocolate. Any chocolates with a high concentration of milk actually deteriorates the nutrients therefore decreasing the healthy benefits.
We hear that dark chocolate contains a high concentration of antioxidants and research has shown that this is a hard fact. Dark chocolate contains many nutrients ranging from polyphenols (great for cancer prevention), catechins (natural antioxidants) and flavanols. Some studies suggest that dark chocolate even has a higher concentration of antioxidants than blueberries or açai berries.
3. What It Does
Besides the great flavor, dark chocolate actually treats your body with respect. Dark chocolate’s flavanols have a positive effect on blood flow by helping your body produce nitric oxide which tells your arteries to relax – it’s no wonder it makes you feel so good! Not only that but some studies suggest dark chocolate is great for brain function and is even good for your skin. Thanks to flavonols, our skin can now be more hydrated and supple.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some eating to do (all in moderation of course).