Eating sweets is a commonly recognized cause of obesity and its detrimental consequences for the health, as proven by modern research and observation. Nonetheless, some of the popular candy might be a lesser evil when compared to the others. The reason, though, would not be the lower caloric value, but the content of substances beneficial to our health, such as flavonoids.
Chocolate, especially dark, can be a great way to supplement your diet in antioxidants, which enforce the body's natural anti-oxidation barriers. In the recent years there have been many studies confirming the beneficial effect of the aforementioned substances in the prevention of many illnesses.
The list of pros is long, and there are many researches and papers proving that the polyphenols from the cocoa seeds:
- stop the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol (the "bad" one). It is the oxidation of this particular cholesterol fraction which causes arthrosclerosis.
- they have anti-agregatory properties, which means they stop the clumping of blood platelets (an important element of forming an arthrosclerosis plaques).
- have anti-inflammatory properties
- relax the cardiovascular muscles, lowering the risk of hypertension
- benefit the immunity system
- help treating some of the gastrointestinal dysfunctions, by inhibiting the secretion of liquids in the small intestine
The richest source of antioxidants is dark chocolate, with high cocoa content, preferably over 70%. As expected, the least valuable are white, milk and soft centre chocolates - there aren’t as many beneficial substances in them, and the amount of sugar - sucrose - is very high.
Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that chocolate, regardless of what type it is, is a high-calorie food, and you shouldn't indulge in it without measure, because it will result in you gaining inches here and there. A couple of pieces of high-quality chocolate will be a valuable addition to your diet, though. Especially when you have a sudden sweet craving.