By Sara Novak, Planet Green
Once in a blue moon I’ll hear some positive news on the healthy eating front and dark chocolate has time and time again come out on top. This along with the antioxidants in wine is enough to make you jump for joy. We know that this delectable sweet treat provides a wealth of health benefits, but how much is too much?
Recently, Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, authors of YOU: On a Diet, answered some important questions on the specifics of dark chocolate consumption. According to the article in the Sun Setinel, you don’t need a whole bar to get a healthy dose of antioxidants. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are so powerful that a daily piece the size of a Hershey’s Kiss can lower your blood pressure.
While this is an ideal size comparison, it’s not a good quality comparison because the chocolate cannot be milk chocolate. The chocolate should be fair trade, organic, and at least 70 percent cocoa. Avoid any filling like peanut butter, which could be laced with hydrogenated oils.
Dark Chocolate and Heart Disease
According to a study published in the European Heart Journal and reported on CBS News, German researchers found people who had an average of six grams of chocolate per day (one square of a chocolate bar) had a 39 percent lower risk of either a heart attack or stroke.
Dark Chocolate and Stroke Protection
I wrote about another study published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. This new study found that dark chocolate can provide protection after a stroke has already occurred. A specific chemical found in dark chocolate called epicatechin appears to do the trick. We already know that it can prevent strokes from happening and now we know that it can provide protection against stroke damage.