Heart disease remains the number worldwide cause of death. Dark chocolate is a great switch from the white or milk type if you or a chocolate connoisseur you know is trying to keep their health and sweet tooth in check. Research has shown that dark chocolate containing at least 60% of cocoa has antioxidants that lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Where this comes from is a compound found in plants known as a flavonoid. One flavonoid in particular – catechin – has more antioxidant power than vitamins E and C. According to some papers like this one, Cocoa beats out fruits known for their flavonoid and antioxidant content (acai, pomegranate, etc.) by a huge margin. It is also a good source of the good kinds of fats – saturated and monosaturated.
This is not a new concept. When the Spaniards first came to Mexico and other parts of Central America, they noticed how chocolate was used as medicine. There are also many historical documents that talk about cocoa’s value in treating heart pain and angina. Cocoa drink became a fashionable beverage for the aristocracy in Europe when the conquistadors returned with it.
Nowadays, however, the love for commercial dark chocolate is not just shared by the rich – you can find it in stores around the world. A good bar with 98% cocoa is a great choice to fulfill that craving for chocolate, while making sure you have many more years to enjoy more of them.