Can chocolate be good for you?
By Liz Blike, RD
Oct 10, 2019
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
The major health benefits of chocolate come from the cocoa content in the chocolate. Which means that to understand the health benefits of chocolate, you must look at what cocoa can do for your body. Cocoa is packed with powerful antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, just to name a few. These nutrients can:
Chocolate lovers rejoice! It’s easy to get caught up in the health claims associated with chocolate. Who doesn’t love a square (or a bar) of chocolate? But it’s essential that you take chocolate as a whole. Chocolate is heavy on calories, which means any potential health benefits could be negated if you indulge too much. Limit your chocolate consumption to one or two squares a day. Take the time to really savor those bites of chocolate so you aren’t tempted to reach for more. Choose chocolate with a higher cocoa content to really get the health benefits. Aim for dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content. Dark chocolate bars with higher percentages of cocoa also usually have less sugar content as well.
Just because chocolate is full of sugar and fat doesn’t mean you have to give it up entirely. In fact, the cocoa content in chocolate has been shown to improve certain health markers. Choose dark chocolate and be mindful about how much you eat for the best results.