Chocolate’s Secret Health Benefits

Remember that scene in the Woody Allen movie Sleeper in which Woody, who has been frozen for 200 years, wakes up to find that chocolate and banana cream pie are now health foods? Well, it’s not so far-fetched.

Chocolate is chock full of potent antioxidants called phenols, the same as those found in wine. In fact, a 1.5-ounce chocolate bar has as much antioxidant power as a 5-ounce glass of red wine. (White chocolate, which doesn’t contain any cocoa solids, doesn’t count.) And contrary to popular belief, chocolate contains only a very small amount of caffeine.

More good news: One-third of the fat in chocolate is a cholesterol-friendly fat called stearic acid, and another third is an unsaturated fat called oleic acid. When Pennsylvania researchers (including some from the Mars candy company) had 23 people follow either the average American diet or the same diet supplemented with 22 grams of cocoa powder and 16 grams of dark chocolate, they found that the chocolate diet reduced LDL oxidation. If you’re going to indulge:

Choose dark. Dark chocolate contains more phenols than other forms of chocolate. Milk chocolate contains milk fat (palmitic acid) that is highly saturated. Semi-sweet chocolate has less fat than milk chocolate.

Kill two birds. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate for a high-antioxidant snack that can easily satisfy one or two fruit servings. An easy way to get melted chocolate is to simply microwave semi-sweet chocolate chips on medium for about 30 seconds. Be sure the strawberries are complete dry before you dip.

Go for quality. Buy the richest, creamiest chocolate you can afford. You’ll be more satisfied with one piece of the good stuff than five pieces of the mediocre stuff.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy