Healthful Indulgences: Health Benefits of Chocolate

Small amounts of high-quality chocolate are, in fact, good for you.  There are reasons why we crave it!  Yes, it usually contains sugar, and yes, you still have to eat vegetables and proteins to stay healthy, but having a small piece of dark chocolate from time to time, or even every day is not bad.  

What is worse for you, in the long run, is denying your desire for chocolate, if, in fact, you do desire it.  Ignoring your cravings is a sure-fire way to have your body rebel against you.  And by this I mean weight gain.  Try to suppress your inner animal long enough, and you can see what I mean.  

Actually, you can use your desires to fuel weight loss.  List your top one or two dietary indulgences.  Keep those in your diet, within reasonable and healthy limits.  Eliminate the other junk (you know what I’m talking about), and watch the weight just fall right off.  

For me, (the wine and) the chocolate have got to stay!  

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that dark chocolate has some real health benefits.  

  • Anti-agingdark chocolate
  • Libido-enhancing
  • Brainwave-activating
  • Blood-circulating
  • Nerve-soothing

The healthy part of the chocolate is in the cacao.  Raw cacao is made from cocoa beans.  It is rich in antioxidants (cancer-fighting agents) and magnesium, iron, and protein.  

We crave chocolate because it makes us feel good!  There are only two caveats that you must follow to enjoy the health benefits of cacao:

1.  Eat only the finest quality dark chocolate.  Get at least 50% or higher cacao content chocolate.  Buy the best quality and eat is slowly.  Enjoy it.  What many people don’t realize about buying high-quality food is that, for one reason, because it is more expensive than the other stuff, you won’t want to eat too much of it, and two, you will take your time and enjoy it slowly and notice more acutely when you are full.  I learned this from one of the best “diet” books I ever read, the Martini Diet.  

2.  Don’t combine the chocolate with “crap.”  In other words, eat dark chocolate, and avoid the milk chocolate (the dairy reduces the absorption of the healthy stuff) and brownies and cakes (avoiding gluten and excess sugar are key to good health). 

What is your favorite brand of chocolate?  How much chocolate do you eat every week?  Do you find yourself ever “self-medicating” with chocolate?  Let me know in the comments below!  

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