Of course, there’s a dark side to everything if you shine a bight light at it, and the last thing I want to think while I’m tearing in to a nice big bar of Vosge’s is that I ought to cool my jets and savor a nibble here and a nibble there. The motto on my family crest is, after all, “Too Much is Never Enough”. But alas, the tale I’m about to tell you is a tale of nibbles.
Here Are Some of the Health Benefits of Chocolate:
- Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. However, chocolate with a high sugar content will negate this benefit. Dark chocolate contains significantly higher amounts of cacao and lower amounts of sugar than white chocolate, making it more healthful.
- The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.
- Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, a mild mood elevator.
- The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which can raise good cholesterol.
- Men who eat chocolate regularly live on average one year longer than those who don’t.
- The flavanoids in chocolate help keep blood vessels elastic.
- Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.
- The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being.
Now for the Health Risks Of Chocolate:
- Chocolate may contribute to lower bone density.
- Chocolate can trigger headaches in migraine sufferers.
- Milk chocolate is high in calories, saturated fat and sugar.
- Chocolate is a danger to pets (chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, which animals are unable to digest).
- Cause acne.
- Make you nervous or irritable: cacao contains the stimulants caffeine and bromine, but not in significant amounts in chocolate bars and nibs.
- Turn you into an addict: chocolate is not addictive.
- Raise your cholesterol: chocolate contains stearic acid, a neutral fat which doesn’t raise bad cholesterol.