Dark chocolate is beneficial to heart health as well as being a rich source of antioxidants.

Many studies have been conducted in the past few years on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Researchers are linking flavonoid-rich dark chocolate with heart health because cocoa contains a rich supply of antioxidants called phenols--natural chemicals found in plant products that may stop the oxidation of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) commonly known as "bad" cholesterol. These antioxidants bind with free radicals in our system and change them into non-damaging compounds.

The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating for dark chocolate is 4 or 5 times higher than other antioxidants such as raisins, blueberries, blackberries, and kale. The rating for milk chocolate is a little more than half that of dark chocolate. More studies are being conducted but general nutrition facts these days include the information that pure quality chocolate may help your body absorb and eliminate harmful free radicals that cause aging and health problems.

Nutrition Facts

  • Although the unsaturated fatty acids found in cocoa butter are full of flavonoids, not all dark chocolate is made with cocoa butter.
  • A study done at Cornell University in 2003 reported that the flavonoid content and antioxidant capacity of cocoa was 2 to 5 times higher than red wine, green tea, and black tea. Unfortunately these antioxidants are generally destroyed when making chocolate unless a special process is used.
  • Research at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests that eating high-flavanol dark chocolate may also have a beneficial impact on blood flow and on the inner lining of blood vessels. Accumulated fatty deposits and inflammation of blood vessel linings has been linked to strokes, heart attacks and other related diseases.

Links to Places to buy Dark Chocolate

ForeverGreen 24K Chocolate - This site offers organic dark chocolate containing 58% cocoa solids for high flavanol content. Choices include "His Teasers" enhanced with herbs for men's health or "Her Teasers" enhanced for women's health. These are individually wrapped 9 gram squares of dark chocolate. The product information page is well hidden so look carefully at the very bottom of the Products/Shop page for the tiny "Online Shopping" link and check out their 24K Chocolate products.