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Studies Say Chocolate Really is Good for You

October 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM EST.

Just in time for Halloween candy- more and more studies prove that eating chocolate is actually very healthy for you. Multiple studies from prestigious schools like John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Harvard University School of Public Health prove the right kind of chocolate can be good for your health.

The “right kind” of chocolate would be dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Research says the optimal figure is 70% or higher, which guarantees a healthy concentration of antioxidants. You’ll also want to stay as natural as possible when choosing your cocoa- some chocolate is processed with alkali to neutralize the natural acidity, and this gets rid of most of the flavonoids. Dark chocolate is recommended because it has lower added sugar and fats than milk chocolate.

The flavonoids in chocolate are what provide health benefits like reduced risk of heart attack, better cardiovascular function, higher serotonin levels, anti-inflammatory effects and improving insulin sensitivity. According to multiple recent studies, daily consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa lowered people’s blood pressure an average of two to three points. When healthy young adults ate an average of 8 grams (about one square) of 70% cocoa chocolate every day for a month, they saw a substantial improvement in vascular function.

Consuming chocolate is also a “healthy” way to boost your energy, without depending on caffeine-heavy drinks like coffee and energy drinks. In addition, it can actively lower stress levels. An article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology studied the benefits of eating dark chocolate on 65 healthy males. The chocolate eaters saw a reduction in cortisol, or the “stress hormone”.

One of the most surprising studies, published by JAMA Internal Medicine, found that chocolate consumption actually resulted in lower body mass index. Researchers say this is most likely related to the higher saturated fat content and healthy calories in dark chocolate.