When I am enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate, I don’t give two hoots as to whether it’s good or bad for me. I just enjoy every piece melting sweetly in my mouth. It’s that guilty feeling following later that led me to investigate so as to assure myself that my craving for chocolate is to my advantage. And sure enough, I may. Chocolate has its advantages, with rules attached, of course. So therefore, not to lie to myself, I suppose that in passing I have to mention the disadvantages as well.
Chocolate is good for you!
Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that combat tooth decay. That is, if you eat chocolate not containing too much sugar. Dark chocolate contains substantially more cacao and less sugar than white chocolate.
The aroma of chocolate increases theta brainwaves, that cause you to relax.
Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine that can lift your mood. Cacao butter present in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat that can decrease cholesterol.
Men who regularly eat chocolate on average live one year longer than those who don’t.
Chocolate retains elasticity in blood vessels and increases the antioxidants in your blood.
The carbohydrates in chocolate increase serotonin levels in your brain, making you feel good.
Daily chocolate intake can decrease the chances of a heart attack or a stroke in high-risk patients.
People who regularly eat chocolate are inclined to be slimmer. Chocolate contains filling fibre, a natural appetite depressant.
Now for the disadvantages
Chocolate can lead to lower bone density, and can encourage headaches in migraine sufferers.
Unfortunately milk chocolate is packed with calories, saturated fats and sugar.
In spite of there being many reasons allowing you to enjoy chocolate, it is important that you choose the correct, high quality chocolate that is in fact good for you.
The darker the chocolate, the healthier for you. Pure chocolate is bitter, and therefore it is usually combined with other ingredients in chocolate bars. The chocolate portion however contains all the good antioxidants, fibre and magnesium.
Prepare your own warm chocolate drink. Buy unsweetened cacao, add your own sweetener and drink as dark as possible.
Go creative with chocolate. Sprinkle it over breakfast cereal or your morning porridge.
Many myths about chocolate are unfounded. You will be happy to hear that chocolate does not cause acne. It can also not cause you to be nervous or irritated, is not habit-forming, and cannot affect your cholesterol levels negatively.
It therefore is great to know you may continue indulging. As long as you keep to high quality chocolate your guilty pleasure is not such a great sin.
Asprey, D. 2015. “Is chocolate good for you? The health benefits of chocolate”. Bulletproof, https://www.bulletproofexec.com/is-chocolate-good-for-you-health-benefits/
Cocoa Symposium. 2016. “Is chocolate bad for your health?”. http://cocoasymposium.com/is-chocolate-bad-for-your-health/
Enos, D. 2013. 4 Reasons Chocolate is good for your health”. livescience, http://www.livescience.com/39733-reasons-chocolate-good-health.html