The Benefits Of Chocolate

Learn the many health benefits of chocolate!

You're probably looking at the title and thinking there couldn't possibly be any benefit to eating chocolate. Chocolate is so delicious, smooth and creamy. It's been described as one of life's sinful little pleasures. Can anything this wonderful be good for you?

Dieters can keep chocolate in their diets by just working it into their total calorie count. The average chocolate bar is 250 calories.

Most of the bad reputation chocolate has been given is based on the fact it contains saturated fat and caffeine. The level of saturated fat in chocolate is due to the presence of cocoa butter, which increases blood cholesterol levels. On the other hand, it also contains a high level of phenolen and that lowers the risk of heart disease! A regular cup of coffee contains one hundred thirty to one hundred fifty milligrams of caffeine whereas a one ounce piece of chocolate contains only six milligrams. At this rate, it's better to give up coffee than chocolate.

In a study by Holland's National Institute of Public Health and Environment, chocolate was found to have four times the antioxidants of green tea. Catechins are powerful antioxidants in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. One hundred milligrams of black tea contain 13.9 milligrams of catechins. The same weight of dark chocolate has 53.5 milligrams of catechins.

Chocolate also provides endorphins, which act like natural opiates in treating chronic pain. Endorphins also bring on a relaxed state of mind, enable more oxygen to reach our inner blood supply and even improve our memory. Seratonin, a neurotransmitter is found in chocolate and works in our body as an anti-depressant.

Other good things to note about chocolate is that chocolate doesn't cause acne or irritate it. It's also known to contain the vitamins B1, B2, D and E as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium.

I know what you're going to say: What about chocolate and tooth decay? No problem. Researchers found that the cocoa butter in chocolate coats the teeth while it's being consumed making it one of the least likely snacks to cause tooth decay.

If you're afraid you might be a chocoholic and won't be able to stop at just one bar or reasonable handful, buy chocolate in smaller personal-sized packs rather than large bars or bags. You can still enjoy chocolate. In fact, now there's more reasons to. Chocolate still has negative affects as well.

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