Another Side of Chocolate

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Chocolate for health

Chocolate is amazing!

This we know for sure.  But there is more to chocolate than just the taste. Did you know that chocolate and cocoa are abundant in antioxidants known as flavanols?  Flavanols are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are found in a number of food/drink items like fruits, vegetables, tea, and red wine.

Some research suggests these antioxidant perks cocoa and chocolate may have a positive impact on the following:

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Kidney function
  • Brain health
  • Immune system
  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Additionally, it has been reported that chocolate can provide these health benefits:

  • Lower “bad cholesterol”
  • Raise “good cholesterol”
  • Promote healthy blood flow
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Increase blood flow to the brain
  • Promote healthy skin

It’s important to note that more research is necessary before any truly conclusive evidence can be drawn about the health benefits of chocolate or cocoa. So, we wouldn’t recommend eating a whole bar of Hershey’s…

If you are a chocolate lover, check out these TIPS for some healthy ways to enjoy your favorite treat:

  •  Eat dark chocolate, as it has little or no added sugar.
  • Limit your intake of white and milk chocolates.
  • When making hot chocolate, make it with unsweetened cocoa and water or non-fat milk.
  • Eat dark chocolate rather than less-healthy treats like chocolate ice cream or sugary chocolate candies.
  • Chocolate has a lot of calories in it.  Keep an eye on these calories – they’ll do crazy things if left unattended!

What is your favorite healthy way to enjoy chocolate or cocoa?  Please share in a Comment.

Sources: “Eating Chocolate”,
“Dark Chocolate”, National Institutes of Health,

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