KW Naturopath shares the heart health benefits of dark chocolate.

Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Chocolate contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables because it is made from plants. The benefits come from flavonoids and antioxidants.Antioxidants attack free radicals which cause damage that may lead to heart disease. Dark chocolate actually contains nearly 8 times the number of antioxidants found in strawberries.Flavonoids help relax blood pressure and balance some hormones in the body.

In addition to helping your heart, dark chocolate has other benefits as well. It stimulates endorphin production, thereby increasing your sense of well-being.It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant, as well as theobromine and caffeine which are stimulants.

Just remember to keep your chocolate consumption under control! Look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavourings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings which will simply add sugar and fat.

1 http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm

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