I wouldn’t say I’m a bona fide chocaholic, but I do enjoy a treat now and again. For me, the sweeter, the better — it’s milk chocolate all the way.

 




Too bad it’s not going to do me any good. Only plain dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa, can be good for a person’s health.

 




Skeptical? Here’s how it can be beneficial:

 



  • Mood enhancement — the mere scent of cocoa is a relaxant. Once digested, the phenylethamine that exists in the cocoa affects your brain, releasing seratonin, which then produces feelings of pleasure.



  • Cholesterol reducer — cocoa contains a large amount of the antioxidant polyphenol, which can decrease the “bad” cholesterol in your body.



  • Lowers blood pressure — thanks to the cocoa phenols, an organic compound found in the cocoa plant.



  • Staves off disease — the risk of some cancers, asthma, Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes can all be somewhat abated by high levels of flavonoids in the bloodstream. Strong antioxidants in dark chocolate destroy dangerous free radicals in the body.