Why chocolate is good for you

WELL_Chocolate_0213

Eat up (the good stuff, that is): A National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart study showed that people who ate chocolate five times per week were 49 percent less likely to have heart disease than those who ate no chocolate.
Credit: Pixland

Sweethearts needn’t feel guilty about giving, or receiving chocolate this Valentine’s Day. According to University of Scranton chemistry professor Joe Vinson, Ph.D., chocolate’s healthy rep as being antioxidant-rich is growing.
“I keep looking for the bad,” says Vinson, who was among the first researchers to report that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, was good for your heart. “But I still can’t find any negatives to chocolate. Polyphenols are good for you and chocolate has lots of them.”
Polyphenols, a class of compounds present in plant foods that have antioxidant properties, reputedly scavenge free radicals that damage cells and make them more vulnerable to diseases like cancer.
But not all chocolate is created equal. It’s important to select pure chocolate and not candy bars, and make sure it has a high amount of cocoa solids. The higher the cocoa solids, the higher the antioxidant effect. In his research, Vinson found chocolate containing 70 percent cocoa solids had twice the polyphenols as 35 percent. Vinson advises choosing 70 percent or higher for health.
The consensus is that moderate dark chocolate consumption has health benefits. But how much is moderate?
“I can’t confirm an amount for health,” Vinson says. “In studies comparing low dose and high dose, there was no noticeable benefit from the higher dose. One study found that blood pressure benefited after one dark chocolate Hershey Kiss. It happened over a four-month period. So, possibly, a low dose of chocolate over time has the most beneficial effect.”

What about white?
White chocolate, made of cocoa butter and sugar, has no detectable polyphenols and no known health benefit — in fact, Vinson says it can make things worse: “Fat and sugar cause oxidative stress in the body.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…