Chocolate has many benefits and appeals to young and old alike.
It works wonders in the kitchen, improves the mood and stimulates the neurons… And that’s not all! Nowadays, you can find chocolate in supermarkets and in pharmacies. This second sales channel is due to the many benefits of chocolate, which come from cocoa’s naturally high antioxidant level, among other things. The main antioxidants found in cocoa come from the huge family of polyphenols and more particularly the flavonoid sub-group. Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the cardiovascular system. They fight cellular ageing and the deterioration of molecules such as blood lipids and DNA.
Several studies show that chocolate has beneficial effects on the heart and circulation. Firstly, the polyphenols in cocoa reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Secondly, they thin the blood. Lastly, they lead to improved dilation of the blood vessels. Chocolate’s high flavonoid content depends on its cocoa content. Dark chocolate, with its many virtues, therefore has the most nutritional benefits, ahead of milk chocolate. It should also be remembered that chocolate has higher antioxidant activity than many frequently consumed plants.
It should be noted that the three basic nutrients of the diet, namely carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, are found in balanced proportions in chocolate. In addition, it contains many vitamins and minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin H and vitamin B12.
However, chocolate is not a replacement for fruit and vegetables, whose many other nutritional benefits are by no means comparable. Chocolate, even when sold in pharmacies, cannot fight disease. Nevertheless, if combined with the correct quantity of fruit, vegetables, cereals, etc., it fully justifies its contribution.
Does chocolate raise cholesterol?
Dark chocolate contains only ingredients of vegetable origin and therefore a tiny amount of cholesterol (less than 2mg/100g). However, the milk contained in milk chocolate contains some cholesterol. But some studies tend to show that cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), has a positive effect on our cholesterol.