Chocolate: Nutrition & Health Facts
Whether during the holiday season or any other time of year, chocolate seems to be a ubiquitous favorite of many. I thought you would appreciate learning about its benefits so you can savor every bite guilt-free. You will find more detailed information on dark chocolate health benefits in my book Health Bliss: 50 Revitalizing NatureFoods & Lifestyle Choices to Promote Vibrant Health.
Cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, provides an impressive amount of antioxidant flavonoids, which fight heart disease and cancer. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2001, 23 fortuitous subjects added about four tablespoons of cocoa and about 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate daily to an average American diet. The cocoa and chocolate improved their cholesterol ratios and increased the levels of antioxidants in their blood. The plant chemicals in cocoa are also noteworthy. A recent preliminary study published in Cancer Letter found that they prevented the growth of colon cancer cells. In another study reported in the journal Nature, researchers analyzed blood samples from volunteers after they consumed dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate along with milk. One hour later, the dark chocolate significantly increased antioxidant levels. Milk, however, seems to interfere with antioxidant absorption, rendering milk chocolate powerless against disease. Want some studies to support your chocolate desires? Keep reading.