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Food Facts: Chocolate

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Is your Valentine’s Day chocolate hidden somewhere deep in a cavernous closet in an effort to avoid its temptation?

Good news!

Research shows that it can actually be good for the cardiovascular system!

Dark chocolate in its most concentrated form contains polyphyenols (also found in red wine) with antioxidant properties.

They help to reduce blood pressure as well as reducing the blood’s ability to clot which lessens the risk of stroke or heart attack. It also increases the levels of Seratonine in the brain, which counteracts depression.

Cocoa beans contain caffeine, which produces a mild diuretic action, increasing urine production.

They contain the minerals magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, and pantothenic acid.

The most beneficial dose is one square of dark, bittersweet chocolate every three days. Eating more does not increase those benefits.

Milk chocolate affects cholesterol negatively due to its fat content from milk and sugar. Just remember: The darker the better!

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