Proof that Chocolate Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet
Overall we would suggest skipping sugar from non fruit sources as much as possible, but if you are going to indulge it should at least be done responsibly. Chocolate, unlike a lot of sweet options, has enough health benefits to make it a possible addition to a healthy diet when it is consumed in moderation. Here’s why.
It’s a Good Source of Antioxidants
Chocolate in its darkest, least processed form is a great source of antioxidants. Some studies have found that eating chocolate can boost the short term memory, and the antioxidants that chocolate contains have been shown to help reduce age related memory decline as well. However, milk chocolate that has been processed with sugar and of course milk, is not going to be a good source.
It’s Good For the Heart
Dark chocolate has been found to have heart healthy benefits. Dark chocolate is a good source of flavonoids that can help to lower your blood pressure as well as increase levels of the good LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Studies have found a positive correlation between eating dark chocolate and lowering the blood pressure.
It Can Reduce Your Cravings
If you can’t stop craving the chocolate, sometimes it actually helps to eat a small amount. Keep in mind that this is never an opportunity to go crazy with the stuff since it’s still high in sugar and calories, but you might be able to get it off your mind just by eating some. Some studies have found that eating a small amount of chocolate each day can help reduce the cravings for other sweet foods as well, and even for the salty snacks too.
It Might Make You Smarter
Or, it could just be that smarter people eat more chocolate. It’s hard to say. But studies have found a link between the two. In fact the countries with the highest per capita chocolate consumption are also the countries that turn out the most Nobel Prize winners. Of course this could literally have zero correlation at all, but it’s potential is a nice thought.
If you’re going to be adding chocolate to your diet, the afternoon snack time can a good time. Just make sure that it’s portioned out and dark enough to be good for you. Even better, stick with cacao nibs which are totally unprocessed.
Yes they’re a little more crunchy and bitter than a chocolate bar, but that’s because they’re actually good for you. Toss cacao nibs on top of yogurt, cereal, or into shakes for a chocolate taste that will only do your body good.