This past weekend, I was invited to be a special guest speaker at the Third Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon, where I lectured on why chocolate is good for you. No, you did not read this incorrectly, there really are many proven health benefits of chocolate (fellow chocolate lovers rejoice!). As we continue to study it in in clinical trials across the globe, there are more and more encouraging results about the health benefits of chocolate. On the Health.com
homepage today, ironically this same subject was illuminated via slideshow:
Below, please find just a few of the health benefits of chocolate and a few choco-myths debunked:
– The Aztecs and Mayans were the first to recognize the potency of chocolate – they’d celebrate the harvest of the cacao bean with festivals of wild orgies. Montezuma believed that drinking 50 cups of chocolate each day enabled him to better serve his harem of 600 women. For my NutriFit meal delivery service clients, I believe that it puts us in “the zone”. The zone of health, that is!
– Science gives us another reason to enjoy this heady delight. There is a naturally occurring plant compound called Flavonoids in chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Flavonoids in chocolate are natural powerhouses and are part of the polyphenol group.
– Some of the key heart health benefits of chocolate include:
-Decreases LDL oxidation (Low-density lipoproteins, which are the unhealthy kind).
-Reduces stickiness of platelets in the blood, which reduces risk of blood clots
-May lower blood pressure
-Increases blood flow in the arteries- (Increased blood flow can lead to brain health benefits, including boosting memory, attention span, reaction time and problem solving skills).
– Some psychological benefits of chocolate include improved mood and pleasure, by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.
– Finally, flavonoids absorb UV light, and so have a beauty benefit of keeping women’s skin more moist, smoother and less scaly. After all, better blood flow in general also means increased blood flow to the skin!
– For all these reasons, and because I love chocolate, I’ve designed hundreds of delivered, healthy diets that include daily doses of the best quality, most delicious, guiltless decadent desserts.