Indulging yourself without guilt! Read about the health benefits of chocolate below: and eat away !!

“While chocolate is thought of as a decadent “treat,” (and chocolate certainly is a treat), did you know that along with the delicious taste comes some surprising health benefits?

1) Good for the Heart
It turns out that chocolate is actually very good for the heart and the entire cardiovascular system!

The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids which appear to be at the heart of its protective power. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, our bodies benefit from this antioxidant power, much as plants do.

2) Antioxidant Properties
The flavonoid antioxidants found in chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals.

Flavonols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the higher levels of flavonols it has.

3) Blood Health
In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that the flavonols found in chocolate have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and less prone to forming dangerous clots.

4) Reducing Stress and Boosting Happiness
One of my favourite sayings, which I often share with people, is “before there was medicine there was food.” I like to underscore this with another saying, “before there was food…there was chocolate.” Treating yourself to something you love is a key aspect of living an Inclusive Health lifestyle and goes a long way to reducing stress.” – Dr. Murad