Chocolate cures all. Whether it’s a broken heart or a heart not running quite well, chocolate can save the day!

by Cindy on January 28, 2014

My sister recently gave me two boxes of the most delicious dark chocolate from Venezuela and I always feel a bit guilty dipping into it in the afternoon. After all, like red wine, it’s good for you right?
Well let’s take a look.
Chocolate is made from plants. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants (nearly 8 times those found in strawberries) and as we know, antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which cause damage that leads to heart disease.

Score One: Dark chocolate is good for your heart. One small piece everyday can help your heart and cardiovascular system run better by reducing blood pressure (in individuals with high blood pressure) and reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad guy) by up to 10 percent.
Score Two: Most people think chocolate tastes good – and not just milk.
Three: It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure and is often used as an aphrodisiac. Four: It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
Five: It contains stimulants such as theobromine, caffeine and others

Chocolate also contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E. Cocoa powder is also the highest natural source for Magnesium – Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and PMS.
What about all the fat ? Well, the good news is that two thirds of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, (monounsaturated, good) 1/3 stearic acid (saturated and neutral effect) and Palmitic acid (saturated and the only one which would raise your heart disease risk.).

So here are some tips to get your chocolate fix:
Remember, chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food and can be highly addictive. Most of the studies done used about 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits. One bar of dark chocolate has about 400 calories. So, if you eat half a bar a day, you should balance those 200 calories by eating less somewhere else.

Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content. Those with 70% cocoa or higher are best. Go for PURE and skip the high calorie filling such as caramel, nougats etc.. that negate the benefits.

Pairing wine with chocolate can be a match made in heaven. So sit back, relax, open a nice bottle of Red and enjoy a piece or two of your favorite chocolate. Your heart will thank you in many ways.

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Kylie Batt
May 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

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