keithjennison April 25, 2009

While it is true that certain people from some ancient cultures of Latin America have long revered chocolate as a healthful substance that was used to treat various maladies, it is also true that it has never really been looked at as anything but an indulgence in the modern Western culture.

In fact, there have been many beliefs and myths surrounding the eating of chocolates that assumed that it was “bad for you” and caused problems, like tooth decay and acne.

chocolate
But opinions are changing. In recent years there has been a great deal of scientific research that now points to numerous health benefits that people might enjoy from imbibing in chocolates candy and delicacies that previously were thought to be nothing but trouble, except to the taste buds.

Chocoholics around the globe are now delighting in these reports, which state that good quality dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, when eaten in moderation, are not considered detrimental to health but can actually be quite beneficial.

The most common myth that has to do with the consequences of eating chocolate is about acne. Many people believe that the eating of chocolates and acne flare-ups are related. There have been two major scientific studies conducted to look into this issue more closely and the results of both of these investigations came to the conclusion; it does not result in people being vexed with acne break-outs.

box of chocolates
These research studies were conducted by two very reputable and well-respected organizations; the University of Pennsylvania and the United States Naval Academy. In addition to these specific research studies on the correlation between the consumption of handmade chocolates and the incidence of acne, there have also been numerous studies that have shown, in general, no definitive relationship between a person’s diet and acne.

The other major myth about eating belgian chocolates is that it contributes to tooth decay. However, this myth has also been debunked and the Eastman Dental Center. The center conducted research which showed that the commonly known cacao concoctions actually contain some very beneficial phosphates, as well as other minerals. These elements serve to minimize the effects of the sugar that is an ingredient.

As a result of these findings, the researchers concluded that chocolates are the least likely treats or desserts, such as chocolate cake, to end up causing tooth decay and fostering cavities.

In a separate study conducted at the Osaka University in Japan, researchers discovered that there are also several antibacterial properties in the cacao that were very effective at counteracting tooth decay. Of course, proper dental hygiene and brushing regularly is a must.

sugar free chocolates
It seems that dark chocolate is an especially rich source of beneficial antioxidants, which can help to counteract the effects of free radicals in the body. On top of that, cacao also has numerous phytochemicals and flavanoids, both of which have a range of healthful benefits.

All in all, this news should make people feel better about giving gifts of chocolate to their loved ones for Christmas.