by Dr. Eiyad Alchureiqi, Lexington Clinic Family Medicine
A common misconception people have when trying to eat healthier is that chocolate is completely off limits. While it is true that this delicious treat isn’t among the healthiest foods a patient should consume, chocolate, particularly dark chocolate can help boost a patient’s health.
Dark chocolate, which in actuality is fairly nutritious, is rich in fiber and allows a patient to become full more quickly. This means it could be used as a replacement snack, opposed to other junk foods that leave a patient feeling hungry, even after consuming a large number of calories.
Other benefits a patient may experience from consuming dark chocolate include:
A decrease in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type of cholesterol, and risk of cardiovascular disease
Protection from UV damage to the skin, due to the high number of antioxidants found in dark chocolate
Healthier teeth, as cocoa contains antibacterial compounds that inhibit the formation of plaque
Sharper focus, as dark chocolate not only includes caffeine, but also boosts blood circulation to the brain
Less anxiety, as dark chocolate can improve a patient’s mood and reduce stress through decreasing production of cortisol
Improve workouts, as certain types of antioxidants found in dark chocolate can increase the muscle’s ability to absorb nutrients and create energy
While it is important to recognize the benefits dark chocolate can have for a patient, it is equally important to remember dark chocolate is still considered a junk food, as only 3.5 ounces of the treat contains 600 calories. For this reason, it is important to consume this sweet in moderation. If you have any questions about the health benefits chocolate can offer, or to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider today, please call (859) 258-8600 or visit LexingtonClinic.com/familymedicine.
Eiyad Alchureiqi, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician at Lexington Clinic Beaumont. He provides services in urgent care and family medicine, including care for minor injury and illness, diagnosis and treatment of sprains or strains, treatment of general illnesses, treatment of lacerations, work injury treatment, lab and x-ray. His professional interests include urgent care, family medicine and emergency medicine.
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky’s largest and oldest medical group. With 200+ providers in more than 30 specialties, we have been taking care of 600,000+ patients annually in the Lexington community since 1920.