5 Health Benefits To Eating Dark Chocolate

With Easter just around the corner I'm sure many children are wondering if the Easter Bunny will be hopping into their houses with a nice big bag full of chocolate. Since we all want to eat a little bit healthier, during this Easter season (and may I add that it's soon bikini season, so for those of you who really want to get fit this spring you'll take a liking to these benefits) we are going to show you the ins and outs of the nutritional benefits to eating dark chocolate.

At first, when I think of dark chocolate I automatically think of that one lonely, dark chocolate bunny that's never consumed in our household, as kids we always loved the big milk chocolate bunnies awaiting for us on Easter morning. Little did we know all that extra sugar, saturated fats and calories could have been lowered if we were to grab the dark chocolate bunny instead of the milk chocolate one.

First things first, if you have diabetes, you'll be happy to know that:

-John Robbins, author of 'The Food Revolution' and acclaimed health food nut, knows that eating dark chocolate is actually very good for you. Of course that is in moderation, as we don't want your blood sugar levels to spike!

-One of the most nutritional benefits to dark chocolate is that it is loaded with antioxidants. If you're unsure as to what all the hype is about, why antioxidants are a good thing in any food, well that's because they are 'substances that reduce ongoing cellular and arterial damage caused by oxidative reactions', in layman's terms antioxidants reduce damage to our insides. By adding just half an ounce of dark chocolate to an average American diet is just enough to increase your total antioxidant capacity to 4%. This will lessen your cholesterol count, which is always something anyone tries to minimize.

-Dark chocolate in of itself has less added sugar than any other chocolate. This of course is something we all look towards when we want to splurge and buy a tasty treat, even though we know we shouldn't. If you were wondering how much less sugar it has, well a Dove milk chocolate bunny has 24 grams of sugar, whereas a Dove dark chocolate bunny only has 20 grams of sugar, so even though it doesn't seem like a large difference if you add up all the sugar you consume in one day, the 4 grams less is certainly the way to go.

-Not only is there less sugar, more antioxidants and doesn't contain added butterfat (like that of milk chocolate), dark chocolate is also a perfect treat to boost your mood. So if you suffer from those winter blues or just need that extra kick in the pants, have a piece or two of dark chocolate and you'll soon feel better than before.

-Finally dark chocolate has a whole host of vital minerals that not only do the soul good, but will certainly encourage you to switch that milk chocolate bunny for a dark chocolate one. With a high dose of magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and iron you're going to want to pack your house full with this stuff.

So the next time you hit up your local store to get your fix of chocolate to keep you going for the day, look towards the dark chocolate aisle as it will not only do the heart good, but will yield to a happy, healthy life.

What's your favorite dark chocolate recipe?

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

Photo: Chocolate Reviews

For more recipes and tips from Melaina, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)