Good News about Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Consumption May Be Associated With a Lower Risk for Strokes


Obviously, as a believer in eating “real food” (the caveman diet), I feel that good old fashioned dark chocolate is good for you in moderation. Research for some time has suggested that intake of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk for stroke and stroke-related mortality.

Results of 2 prospective cohort studies ( showed respectively, a 22% reduction in stroke risk for those who had 1 serving of chocolate per week and a 46% reduction in stroke mortality from weekly consumption of flavonoids in 50 g of chocolate vs no consumption. A third study showed no association between chocolate intake and stroke or death.

Chocolate contains cocoa butter, flavonoids, carbohydrates and vitamins.

Flavonoids are naturally-occurring compounds found in plant-based foods that offer certain health benefits. They are part of the polyphenol group (chemicals found in plants.) There are more than 4,000 flavonoid compounds, which are found in a wide variety of foods and beverages, such as cranberries, apples, peanuts, chocolate, onions, tea and red wine. They help protect plants by shielding them from environmental toxins and helping repair damage. When we consume plant-based foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this “antioxidant” power.

Antioxidants are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes such as breathing and from environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke. When the body lacks adequate levels of antioxidants, damage from free radicals occur and this leads to increases in LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation. Oxidized LDL hurts the arteries by forming plaque on their walls.

Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research indicates that flavanols have other positive influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot and lowering cholesterol.

Obviously, the darker the chocolate the better, which naturally has more of the properties that are good for you and less of the added ingredients such as sugar. 70% or higher dark chocolate would appear to be the best.

To enjoy the benefits of dark chocolate without worrying about weight gain – take a dark chocolate candy bar and break it into about 5-6 pieces – enjoying one small piece each day.


It’s Your Health and Your Choice! ™