Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

More Good News for Chocolate Lovers

Research suggests dark chocolate may help people suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. According to a study presented at the International Liver Congress, eating dark chocolate may help people suffering from cirrhosis by reducing damage to blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.

Unfortunately, white or milk chocolate does not appear to have the same benefits. But before you go rushing for the nearest box of chocolates, there are a few things to bear in mind. Most commercial chocolate bars are stuffed with saturated fat, trans fat, artificial sweeteners and lots of sugar. To get any benefit out of your chocolate you need to look for dark organic raw chocolate with no artificial additives.

But remember … moderation is the key. Gorging on a whole bar will probably just make you feel sick!

The health benefits of chocolate lie in the antioxidant properties of cocoa beans. Eating dark chocolate or xocai could actually be good for you. Studies have shown antioxidants in dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, can reduce high pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. Eating xocai in moderation may even help with weight loss due to its low fat content.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidants

Cocoa beans are full of compounds called flavanoids which are also found in onions, strawberries, cranberries, apples and red wine. More than 4,000 of these provide antioxidant protection. The flavanols found in cocoa beans prevent fat substances in the arteries from clogging, reducing the risk of heart attack and strokes. Cocoa beans also contain magnesium which is important for a healthy heart.


Xocai is a mix of dark chocolate and acai berries, both of which have powerful antioxidant capabilities. The name xocai is made up of two words: the Aztec word xocolatl and the acai berry found in the Amazon rain forest. It is low in fat, low in sugar and high in antioxidants. In moderation, it is recommended for anyone wanting to lose weight but still eat chocolate. Acai berries have been used for hundreds of years in Brazil and are prized for their ability to provide strength and energy and for their high nutrient content.

Cocoa Beans

Flavanols in cocoa beans also regulate nitric oxide which is important for cardiovascular health and promotes healthy blood flow and healthy blood pressure. One study in Italy found chocolate lowered blood pressure. Researchers concluded this may be because cocoa beans support the body’s ability to synthesize nitric oxide. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reported that chocolate decreased blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity.

The Health Benefits of Chocolate

The flavanols and antioxidants found in cocoa beans produce the real health benefits of chocolate. These are the substances that make chocolate bitter. To reap these benefits, it is important to eat dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Milk and white chocolate have virtually no health benefits. Commercial chocolate bars are generally loaded with sugar and fat and processing removes most of its antioxidant flavonoids.

Healthy Chocolate

Most of the fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter and is made up of three different types: oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is found in olive oil and is heart healthy fat. Stearic acid is neutral, and not particularly good or bad, but palmitic acid is not something to eat in large amounts. However, it really only makes up around a third of the fat content in chocolate so eating small amounts is unlikey to do much harm. Really healthy chocolate should contain around 60 percent cocoa and is normally more expensive than cheap brands which often replace the expensive cocoa butter with milk fats and hydrogenated oils.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Thank you for reading!


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1 Comment

  1. There is a brand of dark Belgian chocolates called Xocai. What makes them different is that their products aren’t cooked or “dutched”. They use a cold-press process that saves so much of the natural nutrients in the cocoa, each serving delivers twice the antioxidants found in other healthy chocolate brands and several times that of some of the best antioxidant rich vegetables. There’s no caffeine, no added processed sugars, waxes or trans fats. In fact (though you wouldn’t know it by taste) these chocolates are called “diabetic friendly”.

    In recent weeks, I have talked at length with people in my area using Xocai and the testimonials they consistently offer are surprising. There are doctors who praise these products very highly as they too have some astounding stories about some of their patients using Xocai chocolates.

    People are becoming more and more nutrient/health food oriented. At one time or another just about everyone has heard about the scientific data and university studies showing the benefits of eating dark chocolates and there is an opportunity that’s worth a few minutes of your time to look at.

    Beyond replacing candy in our diets with a great tasting healthy chocolate, you can earn income with Xocai. I know… we have been blitzed for years by direct-sell companies that have long saturated their markets with more than a million people ahead of the newcomer in a pyramid. Xocai however is 5 years old with an annual sales volume of 100 million. The future looks bright and it’s a chance to get involved in something quickly enough to actually participate in the building of a meaningful residual income that could last for many years. Of course, as with any endeavor, the benefits will be proportioned to the effort put forth but the cost to participate is unbelievably low and I truly think it is something to consider.

    There’s some good product information at

    You are invited to join in, be healthier eating Xocai dark chocolates and share your story with others. Contact me if you have any questions or interest. If I don’t have all the answers you need, I’ll see to it that you get them.

    Mark McInturf

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