Hormone OptimizaitonOur Body

Proof of the Pudding: Chocolate is Good for us

Is saying chocolate is good for us just some sort of excuse to overeat seats or deserts or is Chocolate really good for us?

We all wish that just a nibble of chocolate was sort of Hogwarts like and could really induce the brain power, or solution to something complex, or just simply reveal the truth like parting the skies and revealing…well, whatever you want it to reveal. But the TRUTH is that when consumed in moderation and the purest form, yes CHOLOLATE TRULY IS BRAIN FOOD.

Now, most chocolate you are going to consume will have some sugar, and will have some fat. Raw or minimally processed dark chocolate high in coocoa solids is healthier than milk or white chocolates. Dark chocolate has anywhere from 50 to 90% cocoa solids while milk chocolate is typically only 10-30% cocoa solids. And to make the various concoctions tasty often lots of other fats and sugars are included, which can both be very caloric and fight the health benefits. So slow your roll and make sure this small amount of extra sugar and fat won’t be too disruptive of your overall nutrition, but then, enjoy.

The scientific research backs up the fact that cacao in chocolate has very potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Both of these physiologic effects will benefit our thought, learning, and behavior centers of our brain, while simultaneously providing some heart protection as well!

Studies of the cacao beans used in chocolate shows the flavonoids in cocoa beans are anti-oxidants that fight cell-damaging free radicals you generate in your body. These flavanoid chemicals can lower blood pressure, decrease the chances that platelets will produce clotting blockages in blood vessels, and make the walls of blood vessels healthier.

Brain blood flow, and function of the nerves in our sensory systems, respond to all the complex chemicals in chocolate. These include the multitude of flavanoids like kaempferol, quercetin, catechins, procyanidins, and the alkaloid theobromine.

Literally areas of the brain involved in mood and memory light up after being fed chocolate tagged to be able to be traced with imaging studies! We know that the theobroimine is structurally similar to caffeine and may be in part responsible for this brain effect.

Animal studies say that these chemicals can protect us from many parameters of normal gaining, including reducing the chances of dementia and stroke.

So who says chocolate is not better than sex…maybe we just need a bit more research to determine that! Let us talk to you about just how you might embark on such research!


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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