Health benefits of chocolate

The health benefits of chocolate may include:

- Reduction of blood pressure by eating 6 grams of dark chocolate per day. Probably due to the flavonol epicatechin
- Reduction of platelet and endothelial cell activation
- Reduction of inflammatory mediators
- It can also inhibit oral caries
- It can cross the blood brain barrier and increase cerebral blood flow in humans

From Writer's Almanac:

Ode to Chocolate by Barbara Crooker (excerpt)

I hate milk chocolate, don't want clouds
of cream diluting the dark night sky,
don't want pralines or raisins, rubble
in this smooth plateau. I like my coffee
black, my beer from Germany, wine
from Burgundy, the darker, the better.

References:
The Essence of Chocolate. Dr Shock MD PhD, 2010.
Chocolate could lower blood pressure but the required dose may be too much - BMJ http://goo.gl/uoBN
Chocolate linked to substantial reduction in risk of cardiometabolic disorders but evidence not of best quality. BMJ, 2011.
Photo Essay: Making Chocolate in Belize http://goo.gl/2DPi
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

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