In view of Valentine’s Day occurring tomorrow and tons of chocolate being consumed in honor of it, I thought it might be useful to get a taste of chocolate’s impact on our health.
Medical News Today says, “Throughout the years, chocolate has been on the end of a lot of bad press because of its fat content, and its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
“However, ‘the recent discovery of biologically active phenolic compounds in cocoa has changed this perception and stimulated research on its effects in aging, oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis. Today, chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential.’
The potential benefits of eating chocolate may include:
▪ lowering cholesterol levels
▪ preventing cognitive decline
▪ reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Web MD says that not all chocolate is created equal. “While the amount of the healthy antioxidant flavonoids varies from one type of chocolate to another, there’s one guideline you can take to the bank: The more nonfat cocoa solids in a chocolate product, the more antioxidants it likely contains.
“So which type of chocolate has the most flavonoids? The highest levels are in natural cocoa powder (not Dutch cocoa, though, because it is alkalized cocoa). The type second highest in flavonoids is unsweetened baking chocolate. Dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips rank third, with milk chocolate and chocolate syrup at the bottom of the list.
Like love itself, chocolate is a many splendored thing. Check out this tasty quiz from WebMD on the subject.
Here are a couple of questions to test your sweets savvy:
Chocolate was considered to be so powerful that at one time:
a. Doctors used it to treat broken hearts
b. Nuns were forbidden to eat it
I am not going to spoil your fun by telling you the answers.
The average American eats about this much chocolate each year:
a. 2 pounds
b. 6 pounds
c. 12 pounds
You can find the answers by going to the WebMD link.
Just remember that after you enjoy your Valentine’s Day chocolate, you still need to burn it off with some exercise.