Easter eggs have been on the shelves since Christmas & I LOVE to indulge in Easter Egg chocolate, it just tastes YUMMIER!! But can chocolate be good for you?? ONLY if it’s dark chocolate 😉
Dark Chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for preventing free radical damage to our cells. Free radicals are formed by the body to pump more blood in stressful situations. However, chronically increasing the levels of free radicals can cause problems. Antioxidants prevent the effect of free radicals and help in defending cell damage.
Phytonutrients like flavanols have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects and they protect your cells from oxidative damage of free radicals that can lead to disease. These dietary antioxidants can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
Flavanols are a type of plant nutrient found in many foods and drinks, such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples, pears, cherries, and peanuts. They are particularly abundant in the seeds of the cacao tree—cacao beans. Fermenting, drying, and roasting cacao beans yields cocoa powder, which is used to make chocolate. Flavanols in cocoa have been studied for many years. They have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage.*
Italian researchers tested the effects of cocoa flavanols in 90 healthy 61- to 85-year-olds whose memories and thinking skills were in good shape for their ages. Participants drank a special brew of cocoa flavanols each day. One group’s brew contained a low amount of cocoa flavanols (48 milligrams [mg] a day), another’s contained a medium amount (520 mg), and the third’s contained a high amount (993 mg).
After eight weeks, people who consumed medium and high amounts of cocoa flavanols every day made significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive function, and memory. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.