We have all heard a lot about the benefits of chocolate, and we have all found ourselves overwhelmed by the many types of chocolate around us to the point that we don't know which ones are the most beneficial for our health anymore. 

I have mentioned in a previous article of mine that eating chocolate and sugars leads to elevating your mood, however this change is temporary and short lived and it has its negative effects. This statement attracted comments from viewers and made them wonder why I said such things about chocolate. Today's article should serve as a long answer to your queries!

In fact, not all chocolate were created equal! They neither have the same ingredients nor the same percentages. Consequently, it's effect on the body varies accordingly. Some types give you more energy, others are more beneficial to your health. 

Speaking of benefits, we must refer to the fact that we owe the nutritious side of chocolate to the chemicals that are found naturally in cocoa - the essential ingredient of chocolate.

The percentage of cocoa in chocolate is what differentiates one chocolate bar from another. It also tells us about how good this particular chocolate bar is for our health. The more cocoa in your chocolate bar the better quality it is; as cocoa works on reducing blood pressure and elevating your mood. 

You must have heard before that dark chocolate is good for your health, but do you know WHY?

What makes one type of chocolate better than another type of chocolate sitting next to it on the supermarket's shelf is how much Flavonoids and antioxidants it contains. Cocoa seeds are particularly rich in those. 

Flavonoids are a natural substance that has the ability to promote the health of the heart and the arteries. It also reduces the likability of cancer and strokes as it prevents the accumulation of platelets.

Antioxidants, on the other hand, play a key role in maintaining the health of cells, improving the immune system, and decreasing free radicals that contribute to causing cancer and premature aging. 

Moreover, getting rid of free radicals helps the body cope with stress better and fixes your mood. 

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate? which of them is your favorite type? Let's take a closer look at each one of them.

* Dark chocolate contains at least 35% of fat free chocolate. It also contains a higher level of flavonoids and antioxidants compared to other types of chocolate. 

* Milk chocolate contains at least 12% of full cream milk which makes it higher in fats compared to dark chocolate. 

It also contains 2-4 times less flavonoids and antioxidants than dark chocolate which renders it lacking in the nutrients the dark chocolate has.

* As for white chocolate, I deeply apologize for its fans for being the bearer of bad new but, It is not even REAL chocolate as it does not contain any cocoa. It also has absolutely no nutritional value, besides it contains high levels of sugars and fats which makes it actually bad for your health. 

A rule of thumb that can help you choosing your chocolate is: try to go for the types that contain more cocoa. More cocoa means more flavonoids and antioxidants and less additives which translates into a higher nutritional value. 

If you are looking for the type that is better for you, go for the type that contains at least 70% cocoa. This is what nutritionists recommend.

Doaa El Borai
A pharmacist from Gaza, I have passion for the field of nutrition. I am particularly interested in human psychology and its effect on our dietary habits and general well-being. I have taken online classes on health and nutrition. Moreover, I own Facebook pages with thousands of followers where I talk about pharmaceutics and medications. You can find the links to those pages here below: The world of pharmacy: fb.com/The.World.of.Pharmacy Pharmacists and Doctors Online: fb.com/togreaterhealth/ Professional Pharmacists of Palestine Facebook Group: fb.com.com/groups/402564766614108/