Modern science is proving that dark chocolate isn’t just delicious, it can actually lead to good health. Here are seven facts (and a few debunked myths) about your health and chocolate you might not know:
- Eating Chocolate Can Be Good for Your Teeth. Unsweetened chocolate has antibacterial elements that actually fight tooth decay. One caveat though: most chocolate products (candy bars, truffles, etc.) are made with LOTS of sugar, which is not good for your teeth and will lead to decay.
- Chocolate is Good For Your Heart. Just like red wine and green tea, unprocessed cacao has flavonoids (compounds that contain antioxidants), which help to slow down and prevent damage to the body caused by free radicals. It is believed that antioxidants may help to decrease blood pressure and improve blood flow and circulation. This applies to dark chocolate only. Milk chocolate contains one-half the amount of antioxidants and is usually loaded with sugar and fats.
- Chocolate Does Not Make Your Skin Break Out. We were all threatened as teenagers that if we ate chocolate we would have a face full of blemishes. Several current scientific studies show that eating chocolate does not cause acne, and has no negative effect on the skin.
- Chocolate Does Not Raise Your Cholesterol. Hard to believe I know, but the fats in cocoa butter do not raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. One of the fats in chocolate, stearic acid is a neutral fat. Another found in chocolate, oleic acid, is the same type found in olive oil. Oleic acid may even raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
- Ancient Mayans Used Chocolate as Medicine. The Mayans believed that chocolate improved one’s health and had strong medicinal properties. Young men preparing for battle drank it as a stimulant. In addition Cacao butter was used to heal wounds.