Celebrate Your Craving – Why Dark Chocolate is Good for You
There’s nothing better than finding out that something that you love to eat is actually good for you! Over hundreds of years, chocolate has developed an image of luxury, decadence and temptation. Only recently have scientists begun to realize the amazing health benefits of some types of dark chocolate.
Unsurprisingly, women all over the world rejoiced to hear that they no longer needed to feel guilty for fulfilling their little guilty pleasure. But, as the research shows, not all chocolate is created equal.
Until recently, researchers knew that dark chocolate had health benefits, but, they didn’t know how it worked. Here are a few of the answers that they are giving about why dark chocolate is good for you.
Good Girls (and Good Bacteria, Apparently) Love Dark Chocolate!
According to recent research, published in the FASEB Journal, it turns out that the real heroes of the chocolate story are the microbes that live in our stomach. Their findings suggest that “good” bacteria in our digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa. These good bacteria may cause higher cell turnover and a healthier colon. The researcher’s conclusion is that this may help to create a resistance to colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
The researchers also found that cocoa powder is high in compounds called “polyphenolic polymers.” These antioxidants break down once they hit the intestines and may “serve to delay the onset of some forms of cardiovascular disease.”
Another report by Scientific American may help to validate this discovery. Researchers at Louisiana State University have discovered a type of stomach bacteria that breaks down chocolate and ferments it into anti-inflammatory compounds, providing potentially significant heart and other benefits.
Wait! Don’t Reach for that Milk Chocolate Bar Just Yet!
So the experts agree. Dark chocolate is indeed good for you. Just make sure that you eat chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Personally, I love to mix a little pure cacao powder into a fruit shake. Not only does it add some flavour to the drink, but, it also helps me to get the benefits of the cacao, without the sugar and other ingredients that I don’t want.
What do you think? Do you agree with the conclusions of these researchers regarding why dark chocolate is good for you? Do you have a favorite dark chocolate that you just can’t live without?