did you know that chocolate has more antioxidants than kale?

*the author briefly imagines and rapidly dismisses the idea of chocolate covered dino kale*

For my fellow chocoholics out there, below is more than enough justification [and encouragement] to indulge and a bit on how to be smart about it. Not that I need people in white coats to say what I know intuitively, but for those who do…

According to the USDA-Journal of the American Chemical Society, dark chocolate tops the list as a rich source of anti-aging, cancer-fighting, health-promoting agents as well as offering protection from heart disease and other inflammation-related conditions. The ORAC scale measures the antioxidant power of foods.

Some ORAC Scores (Antioxidant Power)

Dark Chocolate ……………………. 13,120

Milk Chocolate ………………………….. 6740

Blueberries ……………………………….. 2400

Kale …………………………………………. 1770

Strawberries ……………………………… 1540

Spinach …………………………………….. 1260

Brussels Sprouts ………………………….. 980

Broccoli …………………………………….. 890

As you can see from the scores above, mixing chocolate with milk cuts the benefit significantly-keep it pure people! And make sure you eat the rest of the high antioxidant veggies and fruits on this list.

If this clear evidence isn’t enough, here’s more:

Glorious chocolate possesses exceptional benefits.
It is a high energy food in a small volume. Chocolate not only contains beneficial carbohydrates, fats, and vegetable proteins, but also has large quantities of potassium and magnesium, some calcium, and vitamins A1, B1, B2, D, and E. It also provides these beneficial substances in small yet effective quantities:

Endorphins, natural opiates that are released by the brain in increased amounts when eating chocolate, thereby elevating one’s mood and reducing pain.

Anandamide stimulates pleasure receptors in the brain that promote and enhance a feeling of well-being.

Theobromine, which stimulates the central nervous system, facilitates muscular exertion, acts as a diuretic and appetite stimulant.

Phenylethylamine, which is the chemical released in our bodies when we fall in love.

Phenols, which are also found in red wine, tea, fruits and vegetables, and may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases production of serotonin, an anti-depressant and natural stress-reducer. In fact, a decrease in brain serotonin levels may trigger cravings for starches, sweet foods and chocolate.

Catechins, antioxidants that may help protect the body against cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer, are found in substantially higher quantities in chocolate than in black tea.

© Copyright 2010

Author's Bio: 

Tazima Davis is Life Purpose Coach and Yoga Instructor. She draws on her diverse background of teaching, coaching, and empowerment to help women harness their innate gifts and personal power to expedite much-needed changes. More importantly, Tazima creates an intimate environment where her clients cultivate and become, on the outside, who they know they are on the inside. She is completely committed to helping more people experience lives that resonate with truth, joy, and fulfillment: her own way of contributing to world peace.