I know we tell our children what NOT to eat. But let us be certain to inform them about what IS good for them. Please share this information.
The following is from Fitday.com: click here for more.
6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has recently been discovered to have healthy benefits. While eating dark chocolate can lead to the health benefits described below, remember that chocolate is also high in fat.
1) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Heart
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating dark chocolate may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
2) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Brain
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke.
Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.
3) Dark Chocolate Helps Control Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
4) Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.
5) Dark Chocolate Contains Theobromine
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel. That means that dark chocolate, unlike most other sweets, lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene.
Theobromine is also a mild stimulant, though not as strong as caffeine. It can, however, help to suppress coughs.
6) Dark Chocolate is High in Vitamins and Minerals
Dark chocolate contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support your health. Dark chocolate contains some of the following vitamins and minerals in high concentrations:
The copper and potassium in dark chocolate help prevent against stroke
and cardiovascular ailments. The iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia, and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
And from: 5 Guilt-Free Beauty Benefits Of Dark Chocolate – The Huffington Post | By Dana Oliver Posted: 08/06/2013
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There are also beauty benefits to enjoying dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate (the good stuff that’s low in sugar and high in cocoa) is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish skin. And its intoxicating aroma and conditioning properties make it the perfect ingredient for hair care. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should add dark chocolate to your beauty regimen.
It repairs dry skin. Iron, calcium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E are among the many nutrients that we can obtain from dark chocolate. Swap out that extra cup of coffee or green tea for a cocoa-rich drink that will deeply moisturize skin and leave behind a healthy glow. Or you could slough away dead skin cells with a DIY chocolate body scrub made out of olive oil, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.
It shields against harmful UV rays. Flavonols found in dark chocolate
have been clinically shown to help your skin protect itself from sunburn, redness and other signs of UV damage. When applied directly to the skin, it also has the ability to repair and hydrate body parts that have been exposed to the sun. But we wouldn’t suggest slacking on sunscreen.
It erases wrinkles and fine lines. Things seem a bit calmer right after we nibble on a piece of dark chocolate, and we all know how stress impacts our skin. And as our friends over at YouBeauty explain, “Cocoa helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin and fewer wrinkles.” Sort of like eating your way to pretty.