HEALTH BENEFITS
OF CHOCOLATE

health benefits of chocolate


Is there such a thing as healthy chocolate?

Here's some information on the potential health benefits of chocolate. Decide for yourself.

[Note: I am not, nor do I claim to be, a medical professional. None of the information presented below is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, medical advice.]





Health Benefits of Chocolate #1

Chocolate may help protect tooth enamel.

  • Chocolate contains tannins.
  • Tannins are proteins that have been shown to prevent the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
  • The sugar in chocolate doesn't cling to teeth since chocolate melts at body temperature and off of teeth.
  • The protein, calcium, phosphate, and other minerals contained in high quantities in milk chocolate are shown to have protective effects on tooth enamel.


Health Benefits of Chocolate #2

Chocolate may benefit the digestive system.

  • Raw cocoa is rich in flavonoids, plant pigments known for their antioxidant properties.
  • Flavonoids can inhibit the development of diarrhea, hence, cocoa's antidiarrheal properties.
  • For hundreds of years, South American and European cultures have used cocoa to treat diarrhea.


Health Benefits of Chocolate #3

Chocolate may be effective at preventing persistent coughing.

  • Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine.
  • Research found theobromine to be almost 1/3 more effective than codeine, the leading cough medicine, at relieving coughs.
  • Chocolate also soothes and moistens the throat.

For more on this, see the Effects of Chocolate



Other Benefits of Chocolate

Sugar-free chocolate benefits those with particular health conditions.

  • Sugar free chocolate was first introduced in the fifties solely for
    food-related health conditions such as diabetes.
  • While this does nothing for diabetes itself, it does allow those suffering from the condition the ability to indulge in "sweets".
  • Thanks to the buying power of the expanding "diet and health food" market, it's no longer necessary to compromise on taste if you need to eat no-sugar foods.




IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

  • Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during the manufacturing process.
  • Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and milk as well, all of which increase the caloric content of chocolate.
  • Unconstrained consumption of large quantities of chocolate can increase the risk of obesity (without an increase in activity).
  • Obesity is a significant risk factor for many diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
  • Consuming large quantities of chocolate in an attempt to protect against disease has been described as 'cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.'

[Note: I am not, nor do I claim to be, a medical professional. None of the information presented above is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, medical advice.]




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