Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate in moderation is actually good for you. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which help rid the body of free radicals, destructive molecules that have been linked to heart disease and other ailments.
Dark chocolate retains 95% of its flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Standard processing procedures destroy up to half of the flavonoids in milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains nearly 8 times more flavonoids than strawberries. Flavonoids also help balance hormones, and reduce mildly elevated blood pressure. Research indicates that dark chocolate may reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
Studies reveal that the benefits of antioxidants are lost when dark chocolate is eaten with milk. Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy's National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome states, "Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate ... and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate."
So the next time you get a craving for chocolate, there's no need to feel guilty about enjoying a little dark chocolate...in moderation of course!