Most of us have heard that chocolate can be good for us, but what kind of chocolate?
The reason that chocolate is said to be beneficial to our health is because of the cocoa beans’ high flavonol content (a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, apples, tea, and peanuts) that is said to promote heart health, cognitive function and enhance your mood. However, it is important to note that the cocoa bean itself has a very bitter, strong flavor that chocolate companies try to make more palatable by roasting the beans and adding milk/sugar which can decrease its beneficial properties.
Because of this, not all chocolate is created equal, and the chocolate that most of us eat does not have a high flavonol content.
White chocolate contains no flavonols at all. Ordinary plain chocolate has 43% flavonol containing cocoa. Milk chocolate typically contains only 30% cocoa and the average candy bar only 15%.
The key to finding quality chocolate is to look at the cocoa content and it is best to choose those chocolates with at least a 70% cocoa. Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the more flavanol benefits you will be getting. You can also buy cocoa powder and add it to your favorite smoothies/shakes for an extra antioxidant boost.