Healthy Chocolates For Dessert?
Is there such a thing as healthy chocolates?
People who watch their weight typically avoid all kinds and forms of chocolates, including cakes and cookies. However, new studies reveal that chocolate is not always bad for people’s health. In fact, scientists now agree that healthy chocolates can help people avoid cardiovascular and other health problems. The wonders of chocolate lies in cocoa, chocolate’s main ingredient. Cocoa is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. When mixed correctly with other ingredients, the cocoa in chocolates releases health benefits that can be quite amazing.
Chocolates: A Healthy Treat?
For decades, people in the U.S. have been told to cut back on fat and cholesterol. That translated into limitations on eggs, butter and treats like chocolate.
Nutrition experts are revising many of their rules. Eggs are no longer forbidden. Margarine with trans fats is no longer a better butter substitute. And chocolate is being recognized for health benefits.
Researchers became interested in cocoa and its compounds after anthropologists reported about Caribbean people called the Kuna. On their native islands off the coast of Panama, the Kuna have admirably low blood pressure even into old age. They rarely experience heart attacks or strokes.
What makes the difference? Scientists considered stress and salt intake and concluded those were not to blame (Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Supplement 2, June 2006). Instead, the explanation lies in the five or more cups of flavonoid-rich cocoa that the island Kuna usually drink each day.
What the research shows is that the flavonoid compounds from cacao can lower systolic blood pressure and increase the flexibility of blood vessels.
When a new study on the benefits of these compounds is published, there usually is a cautionary commentary from a nutrition scientist warning that chocolate is high in calories and that eating it will make us fat.
The research shows, however, that people who consume chocolate or cocoa in a research environment do not gain weight. Dark chocolate and naturally processed cocoa are usually richer in the valuable flavonoids that provide health benefits. Original story here.
Share this knowledge with your family and loved ones who may be depriving themselves of the joy that comes from eating healthy chocolates. Give them healthy chocolates to eat, and be sure to come back and visit us again for more information.
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