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By dawn billings On July - 18 - 2011   
healthy Chocolate good for heart

chocolate good for the heart

Healthy Chocolate in Irvine California

by Dawn Billings, CEO and Founder of Heart to Heart Media, TROVA Business Directory, TROVA Women Business Directory and The Heart Link Women’s Network.

Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? Well, chocolate expert Darrelle Woo from Irvine California says yes.

“Because chocolate is made from plants, it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. In fact, Waiora’s new anti-aging health chocolate, Chava Chocolate, has a 37,000+ ORAC value, so it is like eating 5+ lbs. of raw spinach,” says Woo.

I actually like spinach but I would definitely rather eat chocolate than spinach any day. Woo explains that these benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants (I wouldn’t know a flovonoid from a wood pecker, but I do know know antioxidants are good) protect the body from aging and disease caused by free radicals.

Woo also said that dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Well I love strawberries too, but once again, not as much as chocolate.

Darrell, healthy is one thing, but is dark chocolate actually good for the heart?

“Yes, in small amounts, dark chocolate has proven to be good for your heart. Flavonoids help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body. So a small bar of healthy chocolate everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system in good shape. Well that and it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a brisk walk : ).”

Two of the most important heart health benefits of healthy dark chocolate are:

Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:

  • it tastes good  (I definitely can vouch for that!)
  • it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants
Darrelle, doesn’t chocolate have a lot of fat?
healthy chocolate expert

Darrelle Woo, Health Chocolate

“Well Dawn, here is some more good news — some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol.

The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid.

What are all these acids?

“Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil. Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research is shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol. Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk. That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you,” Woo reassures.

WooHoo, (pun intended) did you hear that? What that really means is that 2/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is good for us!

Woo’s Important Life Tip - “Balance your Calories! Don’t think it is healthy to eat a pound of chocolate a day. Chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits.”

Do you think that healthy chocolate might help end childhood obesity?

“Any thing that we can teach children that helps them enjoy the foods they like, while learning about moderation can help us end childhood obesity, says Woo.”

I love it when research tells me that something I love so much is good for me, don’t you?

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