Happy Valentines Day! Did you know that a little dark chocolate each day can keep the doctor away? Eating a small, 1.6-ounce bar of dark chocolate every day is VERY good for you reports Mary Engler, PhD, RN, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues (DeNoon). If you suffer from joint pain, you should eliminate processed and fried foods from your diet and add in more veggies, fruits, nuts, tea and even small amounts of dark chocolate.
“Many people don’t realize that chocolate is plant-derived, as are the fruits and vegetables recommended for a healthy heart,” Engler says (DeNoon). Many plant-based foods contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which may decrease the activity of the COX-2 enzyme, reducing joint inflammation (Arthritis Foundation).
Daniel J. DeNoon, a medical writer for WebMD reports: “Not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate contains a lot more cocoa than other forms of chocolate. And standard chocolate manufacturing destroys up to half of the flavoniods. But chocolate companies have now learned to make dark chocolate that keeps up to 95% of its flavoniods.”
Think it’s too good to be true? According to a peer-reviewed study published in Chemistry Central Journal, dark chocolate and cocoa powder actually contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than do blueberries, cranberries, acai, and other “superfruits.” (Cool). It is important to note that although there are many benefits of dark chocolate, it is also very high in calories and should be eaten in small moderation to achieve a healthy diet.
If you didn’t know before, now you do! Go indulge guilt-free in small amounts of dark chocolate this Valentine’s Day. You are welcome :)