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15 September 2009

Can Chocolate Cure a Headache?

Decades of research have shown that chocolate has several beneficial physiological effects, most notably on heart health. A new study suggests that cocoa powder has a healing effect on inflamed cells related to migraine headaches. However, the results of the study contradicts previous theories that chocolate triggers migraines in some people.

Dark chocolate, which should be at least 60 percent cocoa by weight, is one of the richest sources of the bioflavonoid antioxidants that counteract cell damage. Milk chocolate, which contains a much lower percentage of cocoa, confers less than half of the benefits of dark chocolate, and white chocolate has no such health benefits because it lacks cocoa. In addition, if chocolate is eaten in large amounts, its sugar and calorie content could negate the positive effects of its antioxidants and other chemicals.

No guidelines have yet been determined about how to consume dark chocolate to maximize the health benefits.

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