Why is dark chocolate healthy?

No one knows for sure why we crave chocolate. It could be one of its hundreds of compounds, including caffeine, sugar, fat, anandamide (a feel-good brain chemical associated with states of bliss and delight), or phenylethylamine (another chemical that triggers feelings similar to falling in love), or simply the melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture. What we do know is that the antioxidant flavonols in dark chocolate (check labels; you want 70 percent or more cacao) help keep blood pressure steady and your mind sharp. They also may help counter cellular damage caused by stress. Try this when you need a mental lift: Microwave eight ounces of vanilla almond milk on medium for one minute, then stir in an ounce of dark chocolate till it melts (heat triggers antioxidant release). Delish. Just show a little restraint; chocolate packs a lot of calories.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.
Kathy Freston
Nutrition & Dietetics

Veganist and best-selling author Kathy Freston explains why dark chocolate is actually healthy for you. Watch Kathy Freston's video for tips and information on healthy living and conscious eating.

Enjoyed in moderation, dark chocolate is a satisfying treat that can provide nutritional value. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that come from extracts of the cocoa bean. Choosing dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa gives your body more of these healthy antioxidants. Some studies report small portions of dark chocolate can maintain heart health and maintain the health of blood vessels.

Continue Learning about Health Value Of Foods

Taking Your Pulses
Taking Your Pulses
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are (according to some) 29 pulses that indicate different states of health or unhealthiness. The normal, healthy...
Read More
What are the health benefits of coriander?
Michael T. Murray, NDMichael T. Murray, ND
Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. ...
More Answers
5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid
5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid
What's best to eat for your ticker? A heart doctor weighs in.
Start Slideshow
Is Frozen Yogurt Healthier Than Ice Cream?
Is Frozen Yogurt Healthier Than Ice Cream?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.