Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many of us have received a box of chocolates. While indulging in some sweets can be a delightful experience, it’s important to remember that too much chocolate can have negative health effects. However, certain types of chocolate may actually provide health benefits, thanks to the phytochemicals found in cacao trees.
For those who love chocolate, hearing that it might be healthy is great news. But before you dive into a pile of chocolates guilt-free, it’s important to understand what “healthy” means when it comes to chocolate.
One aspect of chocolate that may be beneficial for our health is that it comes from a plant – the cacao tree. Like fruits and vegetables, chocolate contains phytochemicals, which are compounds derived from plants and have various health benefits. These phytochemicals include antioxidant flavonoids, which can improve blood clotting and reduce inflammation. This can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, regulate insulin levels, and reduce stress.
It’s also worth noting that dark chocolate is richer in these beneficial compounds compared to milk chocolate due to its higher concentration of cocoa. While both types contain sugar, dark chocolate has less sugar overall and a more bitter flavor than milk chocolate. Therefore, opting for dark chocolate over milk could be a healthier choice for those looking to indulge their sweet tooth while also reaping some potential health benefits from their favorite treat.