Can chocolate be a healthy indulgent? It can! Or more specifically, dark chocolate can. However, in order to receive the health benefits, it’s actually recommended that you only eat at most 1 or 2 ounces. This type of chocolate is good for your heart; and if you eat dark chocolate around five times a week you could lessen the chances of cardiovascular disease by a staggering 57%! It is recommended that you buy dark chocolate with a high cocoa content because that way the soluble fiber will keep cholesterol down, and keep you full longer. Not only that, but your brain becomes sharp and chances of dementia are decreased if you consume dark chocolate. The risk of sunburn can also be reduced as antioxidants, phenols, and catechins are in the chocolate -though proper precautions should still be taken when in the sun for extended periods of time.
However, in order to receive the most benefits it is, naturally, best to avoid buying the extremely sugary and fatty chocolates. Simply look for a good brand and always check the ingredients to find a chocolate that will actually help you; many brands take pride in how dark their chocolate is so you won’t have to look hard. A few brands that are really good for health would include but would not be limited to: Alter Eco 90% Super Dark, Taza 95% Wicked Dark, Lindt 90% and 99% Extra Dark, Pure 7 100% Bar, Ghirardelli 92% Intense dark, etc. Try to aim for about 70% cocoa for chocolate you select, and don’t be afraid to up the count and try different brands!
If calories are an issue for you, you may want to steer clear of this savory treat, but otherwise this could be the perfect element to add into your diet. However, it should be noted that if you eat more than the recommended amount of this treat, you may experience side effects that are caffeine related. Such effects would include nervousness, a quickened heartbeat, or migraines. The bitterness in dark chocolate is also something to take into consideration, but if you can handle a bit of a tart flavor, or drink your coffee black, dark chocolate might just be the thing for you!