Chocolate is more than a sweet delicacy; it can also be good for you. Dark chocolate, not white chocolate or milk chocolate has the ability to lower your blood pressure. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, there are antioxidants in chocolate that gobble up free radicals that are the destructive molecules in your body that lead to heart disease and other terminal illnesses. Its been to shown that those who had eaten dark chocolate have higher levels of the antioxidant epicatechin, a healthy antioxidant compound found in dark chocolate. In certain studies, dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by 10% - LDL is the so-called bad cholesterol.

Native peoples have consumed dark chocolate's main ingredient, cocoa and the cocoa bean and the cocoa leaf for thousands of years. They've used it for their medical benefit and it's only in the last couple of decades that scientists have discovered the potential benefits of dark chocolate and why its healthy for you.

Dark chocolate is primarily cocoa, with very little sugar added. The higher the percentage it is, the more cocoa it is. There are versions of 99% cocoa dark chocolate bars, but those can be almost impossible to consume even in small amounts. Most dark chocolate consumed is anywhere from 40-70% cocoa and there are many varieties including the Bacon Dark Chocolate at Vosges, a Swiss confectionary. Regardless of what other ingredients are in your dark chocolate, as long as its primarily cocoa, that dark chocolate is health for you.

In addition, dark chocolate also has other little known benefits to you. This includes stimulating you produce endorphin, which feeds pleasure to the brain. It also contains serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant. Dark chocolate also contains the molecule theobromine, which is a natural stimulant and where the natives who consumed the cocoa leaf got their energy.The combination of these ingredients provide a boost to your overall nervous system, which is another reason why dark chocolate is healthy for you.

While milk chocolate can impact your cholesterol levels because of the high fat content, dark chocolate has little to no impact on your cholesterol levels. The fats found in dark chocolate are not the saturated fats found in milk chocolate. One of the main fats in dark chocolate is oleic acid, which is the main monosaturated fat in olive oils. And if you're familiar with the Mediterranean Diet, you know that oleic acid is good for you.

One of the main rules about eating dark chocolate is to not wash it down with a glass of milk after consuming it. The reason being that the antioxidant absorption is reduced with the dark chocolate mixed in with the milk. Instead, eat it as a snack between meals or right before you go to bed.

The basic rules about eating chocolate are: eat it dark, without milk, and in moderation.If you follow these rules, you'll be able to benefit from the health benefits of dark chocolate.