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Eat Chocolate, It's Good For You

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Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

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There is no need to feel guilty about eating chocolate on Valentine's Day or any other day. Several studies suggest that chocolate can actually be good for you and your heart.

In these studies it has been found that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, acts as an antioxidant.

A fatty acid constituent in chocolate eliminates some kinds of "free radicals" found in the bloodstream. These free radicals would normally oxidize LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Once oxidized, LDL could attach to the walls of the arteries leading to atherosclerosis and blockages.

Additional studies have shown that chocolate can also have a positive effect on platelets. In these studies, researchers found that after consumption of chocolate, the platelets were less likely to aggregate and cause a blood clot.

Consumption Information

Researchers caution that while chocolate may be an antioxidant, as with all foods, it is best to consume in moderation. Likewise, while there are benefits to chocolate, one has to keep in mind that chocolate does contain a fair amount of calories that will add to daily caloric totals if consumed in large amounts.

While there are definite positive and negative effects associated with chocolate consumption, researchers conducting these studies believe that chocolate is a useful addition to the diet.

While the research as to whether or not chocolate should be used to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions is still somewhat inconclusive, chocolate may be helpful in many situations.

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