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Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
You’ve probably heard that eating chocolate is good for your health. Newspapers, magazines and health food stores are packed with articles about the health benefits of chocolate. Read on to learn more about the facts and fiction of chocolate and your health.
Chocolate may offer potential health benefits because of compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that help the body repair damaged cells, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. However, much more research needs to be done before we can make recommendations about chocolate and its affect on your heart health.
For flavonoids that don’t have the fat and sugar found in chocolate, choose berries, apples, citrus fruits, grapes, nuts, onions and green tea more often. There is no target amount of flavonoids that we need in our diet, so eating these foods will provide both flavonoids and other important nutrients.
As consumers, we have no way of knowing the flavonoid content of chocolate because it’s not on the nutrition label. For this reason, follow our tips below.
Chocolate was first eaten in Spain in the 1600’s.
FALSE. Chocolate was eaten by the Mayan Indians in Guatemala as early as 600AD. However, Spain was the first European country to discover chocolate.
Cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate, were once used instead of money in South America.
TRUE. Over 900 years ago, people in South America used cocoa beans to buy supplies.
North Americans eat more chocolate than any other nation across the world.
FALSE. The top chocolate eaters live in Europe. North Americans don’t even make it in the top 10.
The first heart shaped candy box was made in the late 1800s for Valentine’s Day.
TRUE. Richard Cadbury, son of John Cadbury who founded Cadbury Brothers chocolate company in 1860, created the first heart shaped gift box.
To use chocolate the better way, try these recipes:
Spiced Hot Chocolate
Chicken in Mexican Mole Sauce
Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Bites, Heart and Stroke Foundation
What you need to know about antioxidants
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Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.