Can a sweet tooth help your heart? Recent studies by Cleveland Clinic and other organizations suggest that small quantities of chocolate might actually be good for your heart.
Chocolate is high in flavanols, a type of chemical with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been shown to help lower blood pressure, and help protect against bad cholesterol’s tendency for plaque buildup on artery walls. Binging is not recommended, however.
“The antioxidants in chocolate and other foods help prevent our bodies from rusting on the inside, so to speak,” says Joseph C. Dwyer, MD, FACC, cardiologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Some chocolates have more of these antioxidants than others, depending on how they’re processed. Plus, eating too much chocolate can lead to other health problems like obesity and diabetes, so I can only recommend chocolate in moderation.”