MemorialCare Health System Benefits of Dark Chocolate
What are the benefits of dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which help protect the body from aging caused by free radicals.
Free radicals, molecules with unpaired electrons, may arise in body cells from everyday activity such as breathing and eating and exposure to environmental toxins. Free radicals start a chain reaction, like dominoes, and begin to damage important cellular components such as DNA and the cell membrane. As a result, cells may function poorly or die from the damages.
When we are young, our body is able to defend against the free radicals. As we age, our ability to defend against the free radicals decreases significantly.
Besides aging, free radicals have been associated with a number of diseases and conditions including dementia, cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants, such as beta carotene and vitamins C and E, can help clean up and neutralize free radicals.
Select Dark Chocolate that is 70 Percent or Higher in CocoaDark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants, nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries. Milk or white chocolate does not contain high levels of antioxidants and cannot help protect you from free radicals.
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