Is Chocolate Good For You?
The very word, “chocolate,” brings to mind images of a melt-in-your-mouth, rich and decadent substance that can be both a comfort food and special treat!
Dentists and conscientious parents shun chocolate because of its sugar content, which promotes tooth decay, and Xanthine, a chemical that has properties similar to caffeine. However, there actually are some health benefits associated with chocolate that have some people rethinking that position!
Dark chocolate only, not milk chocolate or white chocolate, may actually be good for you! Dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that help your body resist the damaging effects of free radicals that cause an increase in heart disease and other illnesses.
The benefits associated with eating dark chocolate include:
- Reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol by as much as 10%
- Increased production of endorphins and serotonin, brain chemicals associated with feelings of pleasure
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Increased ability for the body to turn sugar into energy – benefits for those with diabetes
- Improvement in healthy blood vessel function which results in better blood flow, which may reduce headaches
Now please, don’t take this to mean you can eat as much dark chocolate as you want because of its health benefits. Remember, chocolate is loaded with fat and calories, which can cause weight gain.
Studies to measure the health benefits of dark chocolate have used about three and a half ounces (100 grams) of dark chocolate each day, which adds 400 calories to your daily dietary intake. You would need to balance that increase in calories through changes to your daily diet and/or through exercise. Also, in order to receive the maximum benefit from dark chocolate, it must contain at least 65% cacao.
Remember too that regular chiropractic care increases your odds of staying healthy by strengthening the function of your nervous system, which helps your immune system to fight disease. Dark chocolate can only do so much, while chiropractic care can have far-reaching effects.