Chocolate, are there health benefits?

Chocolate contains qualities that can be good for those that indulge in it, with moderation.

Chocolate can sooth the soul – at least that is what is feels like to some people. So what is in chocolate that can bring peace of mind and relaxation to many of us?

Never fear, chocolate has some beneficial qualities besides the delicious taste – so we can all enjoy our chocolate treats while maintaining regular a exercise routine. While there are some nutritional benefits to chocolate, it is still important to moderate the consumed intake.

Chocolate grows on trees in tropical areas of the world. It is harvested twice a year, fermented, transported to factories and then processed into a liquor form of cocoa. It was first used as a drink and thought to be an aphrodisiac, which is why we send chocolates to our loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Chocolate contains antioxidants, anti-depressants, magnesium and iron; all of which can benefit our health. These properties of chocolate can also help blood pressure and blood clotting. The higher the cocoa content or the darker the chocolate, the higher the benefits, with less sugar and an increased bitterness.

Michigan State University Extension recommends eating chocolate in moderation. Chocolate can be too much of a good thing. There are fats and sugars in chocolate which can give you unwanted calories. Take your time when you indulge in chocolate, savoring the entire flavor and remembering that it can be good for you.

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