Using Chocolate for Good

More on 'Is Chocolate is Good For You?'

Every chocolate lover by now has heard of the health benefits of dark chocolate (for anyone still in the dark – it’s full of antioxidants!). Here are some lesser known facts about some of the various types of chocolates.

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Six Things About Chocolate

We’ve all heard by now that dark chocolate, with it’s high concentration of cacao, contains plenty of antioxidants. Here are 6 more things about chocolate that are worth mentioning and knowing.

1) Milk Chocolate is also good for you!
We all know by now that dark chocolate with its high concentration of cacao has antioxidants that are actually good for you by helping to decrease inflammation and help keep the heart healthy. Look for chocolate with 70% cacao for the best benefits… but if you really prefer milk chocolate, you should know that it does contain from 10 to 25% cacao. This still provides some antioxidants, although not a very high concentration them.

2) White Chocolate doesn’t count as healthy.
White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar and milk… but no cocoa solids from the cacao bean! Thus, white chocolate does not contain antioxidants.

3) Small portions actually provide the biggest benefits.
The antioxidants in chocolate are real and there are even nutrients including iron, zinc and magnesium. But, there are also plenty of calories and saturated fat contained within chocolate. Experts recommend just one once per day for ultimate benefits. FYI, that’s only one Ghirardelli square!

4) Chocolate does provide cravings.
Most people already know this one. Chocolate contains chemicals that improve mood and simulate the feeling of love… and therefore make you actually crave chocolate. The chemicals include serotonin to help you relax, phenylethylamine that tell the brain to release dopamine and anandamide which prompt pleasure receptors in the brain, and of course caffeine.

5) Chocolate has a low melting point .
Chocolate melts at around 94°F to 97°F. It won’t fare well if left outside on a hot summer day, but roll it across the human tongue and that 98.6° temperature turns the hard mass into a heavenly liquid flow.

6) Chocolate spoils.
Yes, chocolate does have a shelf life and therefore chocolate can go bad. It begins to taste and smell off when it becomes too old. Store chocolate in airtight containers and it can keep up to a year. Another benefit of dark chocolate is that it will keep longest among chocolates. Milk and white chocolate tend to keep about half as long as dark. Add some creamy fillings to any of the chocolates and you decrease the shelf life, often to about half.

Six Things About Chocolate

Additional Information

To find out how long chocolate lasts, see our chocolate page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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