YES, chocolate is good for you!•
Posted on February 02 2015
While the dressed up chocolate boxes we purchase for Valentine’s Day are often loaded down with not-so-good-for-you sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors... pure chocolate, at its core, is nutrient, mineral and antioxidant-rich and can do marvelous things for your skin.
Cacao is rich in free-radical-fighting antioxidants as well as micronutrients known as polyphenols. The antioxidants come from flavonoids—catechin and procyanidin—which, depending on their concentration in the chocolate you’re consuming, serve as potent antioxidants that fight potentially damaging free radicals and may help ward off disease.
So if you’re consuming chocolate for your health, generally speaking, the darker the better. In addition to sometimes containing unwanted junk, milk chocolate only contains a fraction of the beneficial flavonoids that the dark stuff possesses.
In fact in some studies the difference in chocolate quality showed in the skin. “Women who drank hot cocoa with a high flavonoid concentration for three months,” an article stated, “had softer, smoother skin than women who drank hot cocoa with a lower flavonoid concentration.” Another study stated dark chocolate consumption was not only responsible for improving skin complexion but was shown to help protect the skin from sun damage by absorbing UV light, while also improving hydration and increasing blood flow to the skin.
So if you’re worried about harmful chocolate, simply stay away from the fancy heart-shaped boxes you find at the mall and pick up a nice bar of organic dark chocolate from your local store. You can also slather flavonoid-rich cocoa based skin care products directly on your skin and indulge in the richness without consuming the calories.
As an added benefit—particularly where the timely matters of the heart are concerned—the flavonoids in chocolate can also provide a boost to the cardiovascular system. Clear skin and healthy heart, what could be more romantic than that?
sources: Heinrich, U Journal of Nutrition, 2006; vol 136: pp 1565-1569, Mark Stibich, Ph.D; health benefits of chocolate