Hanifa Rahmawati
hanifarw@yahoo.com

Does your mom often prohibit you to eat chocolate? Or do you yourself think that chocolate is a junk food? If it is so, there are some facts about chocolate that you should know. Chocolate has been a source of controversy over the years. Many myths claim that chocolate is bad for your health; yet, these myths cannot be proven scientifically. While many people say that chocolate is a junk food, actually chocolate has many benefits for our health.
Firstly, chocolate is made from plant, which means it contains many health benefits from cocoa as the base-ingredient of chocolate itself. As published in an article at healthdiaries.com, chocolate is high in antioxidants. Cocoa contains flavanols, a type of flavanoid that is only found in cocoa and chocolate. Flavanoids are naturally-occurring compounds that occur in plant foods that act as antioxidants and help counteract free radicals in the body. This means it is healthful as antioxidants help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They also protect cells from damage caused by toxins.
Secondly, chocolate also contains serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Chocolate also stimulates endorphin production, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure. In fact, one study found that melting chocolate in the mouth produced feelings of pleasure longer than passionate kissing. This may explain why many people naturally reach for chocolate when they’re depressed.
There is a popular, but false and unscientific belief that the consumption of chocolate can cause acne. Various studies point not to chocolate, but to the high glycemic nature of certain foods, like sugar, corn syrup, and other simple carbohydrates, as a cause of acne. Chocolate itself has a low glycemic index. So there is no reason to say that eating chocolate can cause acne.
Another false belief say that consuming chocolate will make your teeth rot. Actually research has found that the theobromine in chocolate prevents tooth decay by eliminating streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the oral cavity that contributes to tooth decay. It is described in an article published in healthdiaries.com. So do not afraid anymore that chocolate is the cause of tooth decay. That is only a myth!
Thus, there is nothing else to worry about. The consumption of chocolate in a proper portion gives us many health benefits. Grab yourself one or two ounces of chocolate every day and you will get a better health.

References:
10 Health Benefits of Chocolate. (2010, October 31). Eat This! Retrieved from http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-chocolate.html. Accessed date March 12, 2012
Health Benefits of Chocolate. (2009, April 26). About.com. Longevity (Part of the New York Times Company). Retrieved from http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.html. Accessed date March 12, 2012