Organic Dark Choclate

Quest for Healing — Go Ahead: Indulge!

Roberta Lee, MD, advocates a dose of chocolate for
your health

By Judy Brooks


Q: I've often regarded chocolate as a guilty pleasure, but it really goes beyond pure indulgence, doesn't it?

A: Yes! Recent scientific evidence has shown that if we have enough chocolate, it will lower our blood pressure, potentially lower our cholesterol, give us some of the vitamins we get in our servings of fruit and vegetables, and may even act like a baby aspirin.

Q: Are all chocolates created equal?

A: I recommend chocolate that contains at least 50 percent cocoa, because that's where you'll find the active ingredients, vitamins called flavonoids. Specifically, dark chocolate contains more cocoa. The most reputable brands of chocolate will list the percentage of cocoa content right on the label. Or, if the first ingredient listed is cocoa, that's a good indicator that the cocoa content is high.

Q: Won't chocolate's high calorie content offset its benefits?

A: Well, I think of it as a treat, not as a main course. Maybe about a third of a bar a day is something that one could have. And, if you're really struggling with calories, my suggestion is to try high-grade cocoa hot chocolate, because it will have less fat.

Q: I'm guessing your patients like coming to see you?

A: All my patients are really happy when they hear about this.


Judy Brooks is the creator, executive producer and cohost of the PBS show Healing Quest.

Roberta Lee, MD, is the medical director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York. The center is a division Beth Israel Hospital and is one of the largest providers of integrative medicine in the US.


Reprinted with permission from Alternative Health Magazine.


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Gourmet Chocolate

Chocolate Myths

Chocolate is High in Caffeine

Not really — an average piece of chocolate contains about 10 mg of caffeine; a cup of coffee contains 100 mg.

Chocolate is Addictive

According to experts, while chocolate does contain some stimulants, they aren't present in large enough quantities to affect the brain or the nervous system by creating addiction.

Chocolate Causes Cavities

Sugar causes cavities. Some of the bacteria in chocolate may actually help prevent bacterial attacks on tooth enamel.

Eating Chocolate Gives You Acne

There's no evidence to support that acne and chocolate are related.