Is Chocolate Actually Healthy?
Believe it or not, certain chocolates can be a healthy part of your diet when they are eaten in moderation. Dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao) contains high levels of flavonoids that help the body fight stress and inflammation and bolster mood, memory, and immune function. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are extremely powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that have been shown to protect brain and cardiovascular health. The nutrients in cacao appear to enhance neuroplasticity for behavioural and brain health benefits. This is good news for chocolate lovers, but it is not a license to eat chocolate bars for lunch every day. One of the latest studies showing the benefits of cacao found it took only 48 g (a bit larger than the average chocolate bar, which is often 40 g) of dark chocolate to produce health-boosting effects.¹