Superfoods don't just come from your supermarket's produce aisle. In fact those chocolate candy bars next to the gummy bears now qualify. Study after study proves that dark chocolate—sweet, rich, and delicious—is good for more than curing a broken heart. The secret behind its powerful punch is cacao, also the source of the sweet's distinct taste. Packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, this little bean is a disease-killing bullet. The only problem? Cacao on its own is bitter, chalky, nasty stuff.
Natural Health News The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but how it works to support health has been the subject of much debate. Now we have a new and intriguing theory.
Researchers from Louisiana State University have just reported that friendly bacteria in our intestines love dark chocolate and use it to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that support heart health.
Their findings were revealed at the recent 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The good and the bad
There are, broadly, two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones. Health depends on the good ones both outnumbering and out-performing the bad ones.
The bad bacteria in the gut are associated with inflammation and can cause gas, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These include some Clostridia and some E. coli.
But, says explained …
Enter milk, sugar, and butter—good for your taste buds, not always good for your health. Besides adding calories, these can dilute the benefits of cacao. So snack smart: Stick to healthy chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao (or cocoa, which is cacao in its roasted, ground form). As long as the content is that high, says Mary Engler, Ph.D., a professor of physiological nursing at the University of California at San Francisco, you can reap the benefits from eating only small amounts. Because of its high fat and sugar content, limit yourself to 7 ounces, or about four dark chocolate bars, a week.