Health benefits of dark chocolate

Who doesn’t love to nibble chocolate?  All kinds of chocolate – dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.  When we were children, chocolates were favorite giveaways to us of our relatives and family friends.

As children, we never cared to know about the health benefits of chocolate.  We just love to go on a ‘chocolate binge.’   But as we get older and we feel the aches and pains of aging, we get to be more health-conscious.  We spend more time educating ourselves with healthy foods and fitness habits.  We also become more selective with our foods; and start patronizing healthy foods that are high in vitamins and minerals.  Hoping that we stay strong and healthy for a long time.

Dark chocolate is one healthy food we should take – but in moderation.  Unfortunately, not many of us know that dark chocolate is healthy food.  In our younger years, we were warned by our older folks that chocolates cause tooth cavities and make us fat.

One may ask: What makes chocolate darker than other chocolates?  It’s the cocoa content.  The more cocoa content, the darker the chocolate.  This is the reason why dark chocolate bars (100 grams) have in their cover labels the cocoa content like 90% cocoa (Supreme dark) or 85% cocoa or 70% cocoa or other indications of lower cocoa content.

Let me share other interesting information about dark chocolate most of which are found in the internet:

Do you know that chocolate is derived from the seed of the cocoa tree by the Mayans as early as the 6th century.  Chocolate played a special role in religious and royal events in both the Mayan and Aztec culture;

Do you know that today, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa with Côte d’Ivoire growing almost half of it.  Our country also exports some cocoa-based products;

There was a study conducted at the University of Cologne, Germany of forty-four (44) adults (24 women, 20 men), ages 56-73 who had mild high blood pressure (hypertension) or borderline blood pressure milder than hypertension, who were not taking blood pressure drugs or nutritional supplements.  It was found out after eighteen (18) weeks of taking thirty (30) calorie dose (one group took white chocolate while the other took chocolate with chocolate liquor or cocoa) that the group who took dark chocolate were benefited more.  The systolic and diastolic blood pressures were lowered by 3-5 counts on the average.  There was no improvement in the white chocolate group.  This study was reported in the August 27 issue of the American Medical Association.

Do you know that dark chocolate has a high level of epicatechin, a special healthy compound found in chocolates.  On the other hand, milk chocolates have the lowest epicatechin levels of all chocolates.  In another study in Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition research in Rome, it was found out that dark chocolate (but not milk chocolate or not dark chocolate eaten with milk) is a powerful antioxidant.  It was also found out that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate;

Do you know that eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate slows down the signs of aging and protects us from many kinds of cancer;

Do you know that dark chocolates as well as other foods like many vegetables and fruits contain powerful antioxidant flavonoids (referred to at Vitamin P) that are good for the brain.  Says Dr. Small, Director of the University of California – Los Angeles Longevity Center:  “As the brain ages, it undergoes wear and tear in what’s called oxidative stress,” he notes. “And these antioxidants in our foods actually protect the brain from that kind of aging wear and tear.”

Do you know that cocoa-based foods like dark chocolate boosts our thinking and memory performance, as well as something called “neurovascular coupling” — where blood flow in the brain changes in response to brain activity — This plays a key role in Alzheimer’s and other mental-health conditions.”  This is a recent Harvard study published in a recent issue of the journal Neurology.  In short, Harvard researchers found out that chocolate (like drinking high-potency cocoa) protects us against Alzheimer’s disease;

Do you know that eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).  Yes, dark chocolate is good for our heart;

Do you know that dark chocolate has a pleasant effect on our moods.  A study shows “that chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical our brain creates when we feel like we’re falling in love.  PEA encourages our brain to release endorphins – so eating dark chocolate will make us happier;”

Do you know that a 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains only 27 mg. of caffeine, a mild stimulant – compared to the 200 mg. found in an eight ounce of coffee;

Do you know that dark chocolate helps control blood sugar.  It protects us against type 2 diabetes.  Also, the flavonoids in dark chocolate helps us regain the use of our body’s insulin.  Type 2 diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, primarily caused by obesity. Ninety (90%) percent of diabetes cases fall under Type 2 diabetes characterized by excessive thirst, frequent urination and constant hunger;

Do you know that dark chocolate contains theobromine which has been shown to harden tooth enamel thus lowering our risk of getting cavities assuming of course that we also practise dental hygiene;

Do you know that dark chocolate suppresses cough.  No wonder people suffering from acid reflux always bring with them dark chocolate to suppress acid reflux attacks.  Acid reflux causes symptoms like burning chest pain called heartburn.

Yes, let’s nibble dark chocolate – in moderation. The higher the cocoa level of dark chocolate, the more healthy it is.  Me, I take only dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content.  My taste buds cannot take the bitter taste of dark chocolate having more than 70% of cocoa content.  The day dark chocolate will use ingredients that are wholly organic like organic cocoa and organic sugar (like coconut sugar) will be a day of great celebration by organic health-conscious consumers.

Have a joyful day!


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa signed and exchanged notes on Thursday for four of the projects amounting to 2.789 billion yen or around P1.195 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

  • It’s time to move on– Speaker
    It’s time to move on– Speaker

    The nation can now move on as President Aquino has satisfactorily explained his side on the Mamasapano incident for which he even begged for understanding, lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “It’s time to move on,” Belmonte said in reaction to Aquino’s pronouncements made before new police graduates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) last Thursday. The President has spoken far too much about what he knows and about his limited involvement in the …

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options