OMG! Do I love chocolate? Do bees like honey? It’s probably in the gene pool. Doomed from the start. My mother has a healthy love for the perfect smooth, yummy, rich treat. But where she will pick the milk chocolate, I’ll choose the dark every time. That’s why we make the perfect team to share a mixed box of See’s candy.
But chocolate – oh sweet chocolate – it’s a love/hate relationship. Put the right kind in front of me and, like an evil naysayer, it calls to me with its siren song. You know the one. It’s almost impossible to resist. I can easily gain five pounds in a chocolate binge.
So when my son came home with a weekly writing assignment to discuss the benefits of chocolate, I was surprised. Was the school seriously arming the children with solid arguments for eating sweets?
For some kids that may not be a problem, but others – well, let’s just say it’s not information my youngest needs to have in her arsenal. But my son’s research turned up some rather fascinating facts about our favorite yummy treat that just goes to show nature has a wonderful way of balancing all things out and medicine doesn’t always have to taste bad.
Maybe you knew this already, maybe I’m the last one on the trolley of knowledge, but were you aware that chocolate is actually produced from plants? That’s right. It contains many of the same benefits as dark vegetables.
Now, don’t get all carried away here. Even though chocolate may have some health benefits that doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. It is still high in sugar and fat!
But if you can control yourself and keep your intake to a small amount, researchers believe there are some pretty awesome benefits to be reaped from dark chocolate, or better yet cocoa. Because it comes from plants it contains flavonoids, which in turn act like antioxidants. Antioxidants have been known to help protect the body against aging.
Am I saying it will keep you looking young and beautiful? Well, I didn’t say it was a miracle worker, but it may work like many of those creams and elixirs we spend so much money on. Or at the very least, help them do a better job.
What else can it do? A couple of weeks ago, August McLaughlin mentioned how it could help in her post: Foods for a Beautiful Brain. Well, it’s a wonderful healthy heart item as well. It works for the following:
Okay, this is what it’s best known for when it comes to health benefits, but it can also help with blood flow, making platelets less sticky and less likely to clot.
But it doesn’t stop there! Check this out, chocolate can:
- Reduce pain
- Lessen anxiety
- Give you an energy boost
- Work as an anti-depressant
Look at all that! And it has less caffeine than coffee does. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Well, be careful. Avoid taking milk with your dose of chocolate or you cancel out all the good it can do. Milk prevents the body from absorbing the antioxidants.
Also, when picking your chocolate – always go dark and avoid fillers such as caramel, nougat and others. They only add sugar and fat while erasing any benefit you would have gained.
I understand that research is still being conducted and is therefore inconclusive, but from what they’ve seen researchers are convinced. You stand to gain a lot from chocolate. So thank you – kid’s school – for helping us learn a little bit more about this sugary delight. Enjoy the wonderful health benefits of chocolate, never forgetting the importance of taking this treat in moderation. And I still say, fruit and vegetables will do you better. But chocolate it must be, dark is the way to go.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the benefits of chocolate. Did I share any information with you that you didn’t already know? Do you think it was wise of the school to have the children investigate this at such a young age (my son is ten)?
Other great posts on chocolate:
To read about the darker, production side check this great post out:
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