Carmel, CA Good News, Chocolate Is Good For You!by Richard Kuehn on 07/20/12
I was happy to see the headline Chocolate : A Health Food? in the Wall Street Journal. Being a huge chocolate lover myself, I have seen a number of studies that have shown that dark chocolate might actually have ingredients in it that are good for you. The European Food Safety Authority announced this week that it's allowing companies to claim that cocoa flavonols, which are compounds that can be found in dark chocolate, can be good for blood circulation. Companies like Nestle and Kraft Foods are probably gleeful to be able to put this information into their marketing plans. A recent study found that the intake of 200 milligrams of cocoa flavanols per day contributes to normal blood flow. As with all things, moderation is the key. This translates to 0.35 ounces of high flavanol dark chocolate per day. Other studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and reduce heart disease. Be careful, however, because chocolate also includes sugar and fat. If you can afford it, resist the cheap chocolate bars near the supermarket checkout stand and go for higher end bars which will have a higher cocoa content. Some companies are even using a process to increase the preservation of flavanols as the chocolate is processed, giving you more flavanols for the buck.