Here’s the health update that could carry you through any gloomy day, work challenge, or family stress: Dark chocolate is a SuperFood. For many of us, this is a dream come true. The interesting thing is that once people think of chocolate as a food that’s beneficial to their health, they’re somehow less tempted to gorge on it. Why? Because it’s no longer forbidden.
Here is the good news: Dark chocolate can contribute to lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, and ultimately a healthy heart. This news doesn’t mean you should toss out the oatmeal and fill your cabinets with chocolate. Pause for a moment and let the caution on chocolate sink in:
Keep your daily dark chocolate intake to about 100 calories per day: You can’t eat as much chocolate as you want. It’s high in calories, and if you eat too much of it you will gain weight. Depending on your weight and activity level, chocolate should be a small treat, a little healthy indulgence that will have to be accounted for in your overall calorie intake/activity equation.
Eat only dark chocolate: When you do indulge in chocolate and you’re looking for a health benefit, choose dark chocolate. Milk chocolate or white chocolate (this isn’t even real chocolate) won’t do. While both contain some of the beneficial polyphenols (though in much lower amounts than dark chocolate), preliminary data suggests that the presence of milk in the chocolate somehow mitigates the effectiveness of the polyphenols.
It’s a myth that chocolate is loaded with caffeine. While there is some caffeine in dark chocolate, it’s not much. In a typical chocolate bar, the caffeine content ranges from 1 to 11 mg. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 137 mg of caffeine.