3 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

It's true: dark chocolate is good for you. In moderation, dark chocolate has numerous health benefits.

By Reader's Digest Editors
Dark chocolate© iStockphoto / Thinkstock

Although it seems too good to be true, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! When consumed in moderation, this delicious treat has some powerful health benefits. Following are three of the major reasons to indulge:

1. It can help prevent heart disease: Like tea, dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are compounds that act as antioxidants. Flavonoids protect cells from harmful molecules—called free radicals—that are produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to sunlight or smoke. Free radicals can cause cell damage that leads to heart disease. Flavonoids can also lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol (i.e., the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

2. It can improve your mood: Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that bring on feelings of pleasure. It also contains the chemical serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant.
3. It can protect your skin: German researchers found that the flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, and improve skin’s hydration and complexion.

For all of its health benefits, though, dark chocolate does contain a lot of calories. So, experts recommend sticking to no more than three ounces of the sweet stuff per day.

Sources: About.com, CNN.com, eHow.com

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  • Your Comments

    • http://www.goodfoodwarehouse.com.au/ Food Suppliers Australia

      Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden
      tooth enamel. That means that dark chocolate, unlike most other sweets,
      lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental
      hygiene.

    • http://www.charmoydental.com/ Rory Vanzetti

      Dark chocolate is truly a mood booster. In our house, it is one sure way to get the kids to do any chores. Seeing their eagerness to help with any house chore – that is priceless!

    • Anonymous

      Somebody tell that chocolates are bad for teeth. But chocolates are good for health and special dark chocolates are best for health. It can prevent heart diseases. It improves blood flow in skin and protect our skin. So it is good to eat Dark chocolates.

      • http://alliancefamilydental.com/meet_dr_barber.html Emmy Summers

        Regarding dark chocolate and teeth: indeed, they can be good for your pearly whites, but don’t rush out to satisfy your sweet tooth just yet. Check out the chocolates that aren’t high in sugar content, and never forget to brush and floss to have healthy teeth and a healthy body.

      • Adrineh_h

        Chocolate is not bad for your teeth, granted if you do dring a glass of water after you ate your chocolate, so that it is washed down from your teeth and mouth.
        Actually Chocolate is far better then hard candy, for your teeth, becouse like a candy cane it woud not stick to your teeth for a long time .