I have to admit it. When it comes to chocolate, I’m addicted. I don’t know about you, but I never met a chocolate that I didn’t like! Sisters, I am a bona fide chocoholic!
It doesn’t matter whether it’s chocolate in coffee, ice cream or chocolate covered strawberries (ahhhh my favorite!). When chocolate’s involved, it’s all GOOD! Of course, the circumference of my hips just might disagree with the assessment of my taste buds. Nevertheless, it’s an indisputable fact - I love chocolate.
One of the things that I absolutely hate about “diets” is the fact that they almost always seem to restrict the thing that I love the most. How can something that tastes so good possibly be bad for you? I’ve long felt that science would eventually get the “clue” and prove that something as absolutely decadent as chocolate was really was good for us. It looks science is finally coming on board!
There has been much discussion in the past few years about the benefits of chocolate to your heart. Chocolates are rich in a substance called flavonoids. Flavonoids possess this really amazing antioxidant power. They are able to not only shield plants from environmental toxins, but repair environmental damage as well. When we eat plants that are rich in flavonoids, some of the protective antioxidant power extends to us and we benefit as well. Antioxidants are also a line of defense against free radicals and help our body defend against the damage they cause. If we are low on antioxidants, we may see an increase in free radical damage. This damage can lead to increased levels of LDL cholesterol and the formation of plaque in our arteries.
Flavonoids also give cocoa its rather unique taste. Of course, by the time we buy chocolate in the store, the cocoa has been processed extensively. Unfortunately, much of the beneficial flavonoids are lost during the processing. This is particularly true of milk chocolate products. However, chocolate loves should not despair, as all is not lost. Dark chocolate is our friend!