Choco-Love: The Science Behind Why Chocolate Is Good for You

Chocoholics might worry about how bad it is for them but wait! There are some health benefits to eating chocolate.

It seems that there’s always something in the news about a new study saying chocolate is good for us, but what is the science behind it? To find out, we talked to an expert on Health Happens, our weekly Facebook Live show.

Dr. Omid Jazaeri, a board-certified general and vascular surgeon from the Medical Center of Aurora says chocolate is, “Healthy in moderation.”

Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure, and raises the good cholesterol in our bodies reducing heart disease risk, “Cocoa beans have a chemical called a flavonoid which is in the antioxidant family. Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, help plants find disease and repair their own damage. When we eat foods, whether it’s vegetables or chocolate that’s rich in flavonoids then we benefit from those antioxidant effects,” Dr. Jazaeri explains.

“The most common flavonoid in chocolate is flavanol. Flavanol has other beneficial effects, it helps reduce your blood pressure, it helps increase blood flow to heart and brain,” he adds.

Additional benefits outlined in this article from Healthline says quality, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains a decent amount of fiber and is loaded with minerals. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% of the recommended daily value for iron
  • 58% of the recommended daily value for magnesium
  • 89% of the recommended daily value for copper
  • 98% of the recommended daily value for manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium

100 grams, however (3.5 ounces) also comes with a lot of calories and sugar. Again, chocolate is best consumed in moderation and keep in mind the total number of calories you should consume in a day. Maybe have just a square or two of high-quality dark chocolate and enjoy the benefits.