How Much Chocolate Is Good for You?

Here’s something most people don’t know: chocolate can be part of a daily diet and actually help the body function.

Yes, this is for real.

Chocolate has incredible health benefits and emotional ones as well. Stress relief and mood alignment are just two of the affects that chocolate has on the human psyche. The emotional benefits are worth considering because mental health affects overall health substantially. While chocolate can be very beneficial to overall health, not all chocolate is created equal.

English: Swiss chocolate: Black, brown (with C...
3 Types of chocolate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is, by far, the best choice of chocolate for daily intake. It has been found to lower blood pressure, prevent hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), and control blood sugar. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and bioflavonoids that help rid the body of free radicals. Because free radicals are linked to many ailments as well as the aging process, it is thought that dark chocolate can slow or prevent the progress of disease and aging. Dark chocolate is also a great source of vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients help to prevent the development of many diseases such as anemia, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. Dark chocolate even has an effect on cholesterol. If ever there was a super food, dark chocolate is it.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is chocolate that has been mixed with milk and sugar. The added milk provides an increased level of calcium than is found in dark chocolate. While milk chocolate doesn’t have as many nutrients as dark chocolate, it still serves as a fantastic treat, either hot or cold. While it may be the most popular version of chocolate, save this kind of chocolate for a special occasion, while keeping dark chocolate your day to day chocolate.

Chocolate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

White Chocolate

White chocolate does not have all of the same health benefits as the other two because the majority of the nutrients and bioflavonoids come from the cocoa from which the chocolate is made. Because white chocolate is made from cocoa butter and not cocoa, the same nutrients are not present as they are in dark chocolate. But white chocolate still makes for a fabulous candy snack.

All of this is great news for chocolate lovers. Now the guilt of having a piece of chocolate can fall by the wayside. Bearing in mind that chocolate is high in fat and that daily intake should be limited to a small portion, it is possible and, indeed, healthy to indulge in a little piece of yum every day.