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Zorba Paster: Eating Chocolate Might Help Lead To A Longer Life

Don’t Hesitate To Eat Chocolate In Moderation

Lee McCoy (CC-BY-ND)

I love talking about chocolate. Actually, I love eating chocolate — talking about it only reminds me how much I like to eat it. But even thinking about it increases my endorphins and makes me smile. And eating chocolate perhaps just might help with a longer life.

After the holidays with so many of us trying new diets, it’s a good time to see how some “taste good” things are good for us, too.

For for those Puritans out there who want to avoid the goodness of chocolate, I’ll advise you to get what you need from industrialized pills containing flavonoids. Will it be as good? Well, it doesn’t taste as good but it might do the trick for you chocolate haters (or those unfortunate folks who can’t eat it). But on to its benefits.

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Cocoa contains flavonoids, which some studies show may promote heart health and good blood pressure, while also guarding against high cholesterol levels, memory problems and even skin wrinkles. Doesn’t this sound too good to be true? It does to me, but we know flavonoids are present in other things that are good for us such as green tea, red wine, citrus products, peanuts, onions, bananas, ginkgo biloba and my least favorite green veggie of all time, kale.

Cocoa comes from the cocoa bean after removing cocoa butter. It’s used in hot chocolate and, of course, all sorts of candy and other confections. You can make a low-calorie cocoa, but removing all the calories from that piece of candy is a bit tricky.

The European Food Safety Authority granted permission to the makers of dark chocolate to claim, “Cocoa flavonoids help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow.” And better blood flow means better health overall.

Well, if cocoa flavonoids are good enough for those on the other side of the pond, they’re good enough for me.

My spin: Don’t hesitate to eat chocolate in moderation, because what is life without chocolate?