Here’s some good news for you! Eating a small amount of dark chocolate is good for your health. Dark chocolate is nutritious and a great source of antioxidants.

Chocolate comes from the bean of the cacao tree and like wine and many fruits and vegetables, has a high concentration of antioxidants.

Dark chocolate offers the following health benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood flow
  • Lower bad cholesterol levels
  • Lower risk of blood clots
  • Better moods

The cocoa plant is rich in chemicals called flavanols they may help protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains 2 to 3 times more cacao than milk chocolate. Flavanols support the production of nitric oxide that help to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Real dark chocolate contains several nutrients because of the high cacao content. It’s loaded with iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorous and manganese. It’s also rich in fiber. Dark chocolate is also loaded with. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins.

Check the label of the dark chocolate you’re buying. Is it real chocolate or a chocolate-like product? High quality chocolate uses cacao as the main ingredient. It may list cocoa butter, cocoa power, or chocolate liquor on the label. If it’s not real chocolate it may be a chocolate compound and it will be labeled as chocolaty or chocolate-flavored.

There are several chocolate bars on the market that contain at least 70 percent cacao and made from organic ingredients.  Here are some of the brand names to look for:

  • Equal Exchange
  • Alter Eco
  • Vosges Haut Chocolat
  • Sweetriot
  • Taza Chocolate
  • Theo
  • Dandelion Chocolate
  • Righteously Raw

Dark chocolate has been shown to make people happier and improve moods due to its fatty acid content. It’s also one of the few foods you really enjoy eating that is actually healthy for you? Who doesn’t like eating chocolate?