OK, so when we think of chocolate, we all think of fat, weight gain, sugar and foods banned from the diet list, right? Well, guess what? Chocolate can actually be good for you. Here are some little known facts about chocolate. Chocolate is.
- RELAXING: Chocolate contains a natural compound called theophylline that's similar to what the brain produces when it feels warm and loving. Theophylline can actually relax you and lift your mood.
- A GOOD SOURCE OF MINERALS: Chocolate has lots of iron and is second only to seaweed in the amount of magnesium it has. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and keeps blood pressure low.
- GOOD FOR YOUR HEART: Chocolate is incredibly high in phytochemicals, which can help prevent plaque buildup in the heart, free radical damage and stroke. Chocolate also boosts HDL or "good" cholesterol.
BUT you have to eat high quality chocolate to get all these benefits. High quality chocolate has only cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and soy lecithin. It can also have milk, vanilla, and fruit for flavoring. Also, buy organic chocolate to get the maximum health benefit. Ready, set, eat (chocolate)!
~ based on an article from "Transition," 2002/2003 no. 31