Chocolate as Medicine?

Don't feel guilty about indulging in chocolate. It may actually be good for you!

By Cynthia Dermody from Reader's Digest | February 2008

Here’s even more evidence that chocolate makes us healthy:

It can lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, gave 44 people with borderline or mild hypertension 30 calories a day of dark or white chocolate. After about four months, the number of dark chocolate eaters diagnosed with hypertension dropped from 86 percent to 68 percent. Most likely the results were thanks to the antioxidant effect of dark chocolate, the researchers say.

It can help you burn fat.
Chocolate-loving men who eat the sweet treat are in better health than those who don’t like it, say docs at Imperial College London and Nestlé. Over five days, a group of 22 healthy young men (half liked chocolate; half didn’t) ate the same food, plus either chocolate or bread. Blood and urine tests showed the chocolate lovers processed fatty foods better and had lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Yes, indulging every once in a while may have long-term heart benefits — but only when paired with a healthy diet. “You can’t just eat chocolate while you sit on the couch and watch TV,” says researcher Sunil Kochhar, PhD.

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