Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

New Dark chocolate health benefits found

The long-held belief that dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa) could hold heart health benefits is now a little more solid, thanks to new research.

Scientists at Louisiana State University examined certain bacteria in the stomach that eat dark chocolate, ferment it, and produce anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart.

“We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones,” said Maria Moore, one of the study authors. “The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate. When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing anti-inflammatory compounds.”

Study leader John Finley, a professor at the university’s department of food science, said, “When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.”

This study is believed to be the first to observe the effects of dark chocolate on stomach bacteria.

Combining this chocolate with antioxidant-rich fruits like pomegranate and acai could bring additional benefits, according to the researchers.

Snack wrap up: A couple of squares of rich, dark chocolate such as Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate will satisfy your chocolate craving and potentially impart additional antioxidant benefits. Just ensure the chocolate is made with at least 70 per cent cocoa.