With Halloween just around the corner, chocolate and candy has been lurking everywhere. Mega-size bags of candy and chocolate at the market, jack-o-lanterns of fun size candies at the bank counter or worse, the abundant office candy that never seems to end. And while you've been relatively good at saying no to candy, chocolate has always been your weak spot - even though you know it's bad for you. But is chocolate really bad for you?
Recent studies have shown that consuming chocolate is not only good for you, it may be beneficial for your heart! But like all good things, it should be enjoyed in moderation - experts recommend no more than 1 oz per week. The type of chocolate is important as well - the darker, the better. As reported in The New York Times, experts recommend chocolate with at least 70% or more pure cacao. Cacao, from which chocolate is made, contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may help in heart health.
The study, originally published in the journal Circulation, showed that women who ate 1-3 servings of chocolate a month had 26% less cases of heart failure and women who ate 1-2 servings per week had 32% less cases than those who did not eat chocolate. Results also suggested that there were no protective benefits for women who ate chocolate everyday or almost everyday.
While there are other foods that are rich in flavonoids (any fruit or vegetable that is darkly pigmented is flavonoid-rich), dark chocolate may be the only food that helps your heart and makes your heart feel good. So don't hide from candy this Halloween - help yourself to some chocolate. Just make sure it's the right kind and amount and your heart... and waistline will thank you.