The short answer is, yes! But it has to be the right kind. Quality dark chocolate contains antioxidants and nutrients that can positively affect our health.
This doesn’t mean you should go out and fill the pantry with chocolate treats though. Moderation is key. A square or two of dark chocolate can be beneficial, but don’t go overboard.
What’s so good about it?
- Good quality dark chocolate contains iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, along with potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. It is also a good source of fibre.
- Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants including polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. Antioxidants are known to destroy free radicals in the body – chemicals that can cause cell damage, disease and accelerate ageing.
- Some studies have shown dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
- Studies have also shown that chocolate may lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease.
- It is also thought that dark chocolate may improve brain function!
We can’t discount taste and the feel-good factor either. Most of us would agree that chocolate tastes delicious. It also stimulates the release of endorphins – our “feel good” hormones.
What to reach for
- Look for dark chocolate with high cocoa content – at least 70%.
- Choose quality, organic if you can.
- Keep your portions small – one to two squares of quality dark chocolate per day will give you the goodness, without too much sugar.