Most of us assume that dark chocolate is the only form of chocolate that has health benefits. However, there have been studies that point also to the advantages of milk chocolate for helping the body and mind that may surprise you. In fact, milk chocolate may soon be just as good for you as the dark chocolate with what some manufacturers have been enhancing their recipes with.
The flavonoids in the cocoa are what makes the chocolate healthy in the first place. These are the antioxidants that can benefit the heart, inflammation, lower stress and cholesterol, blood pressure, cognitive function, and even help guard against blood clots. Both milk and dark chocolate have benefits from flavonoids.
The darker the chocolate, the higher the percentage of flavonoids in it. These flavonoids are what gives the chocolate that bitter taste. Although milk chocolate doesn’t have as high of these antioxidants as its dark counterpart in its natural state, there have been interesting long-term studies that eating milk chocolate also can assist in preventing heart disease and stroke than those that went without it due to its polyphenols.
Milk chocolate also has more calcium, which is another of these benefits. To give you a clue, it has about six times more calcium than the dark.
As wonderful as that boost in calcium may be, the dark chocolate does have fiber. The lighter form does not have that benefit.
Both forms have high calories in common. Therefore, you don’t want to over eat in order to prevent weight gain. Aiming for about an ounce a day can provide enough health benefits without overdoing the excessive calories.
Another reason you don’t want to load up on that delicious dark stuff is because it always may be addictive. This is still being studied, but chocolate does release chemicals in the brain that can lift the mood, invite love and bring about a feeling of bliss. Nonetheless, you don’t know what the long term effect may be if the brain becomes almost sensitized in that way.
If you’re wondering about white chocolate, it may be delicious but doesn’t have those same type of flavonoid benefits. Instead, you may want to start thinking of adding a small portion of the regular chocolate to your daily life.