Chocolate has received a bad rap over the years, but new studies are showing that chocolate may actually be good for you -- good for your heart, arteries, eyes, gums, cholesterol levels and even your immune system.

New research is showing that dark chocolate has nutritional value -- but the form it comes in makes all the difference.

The chocolate that is making headlines is the rich dark chocolate that is made from natural cocoa beans. Delicious chocolate that you will be able to eat three times a day, guilt free! In fact, it's recommended - for the whole family, it's breakfast, diabetic and chocoholic friendly!

Dark chocolate that has been made with the cocoa bean has antioxidant properties, which can actually help to protect the body from damaging oxidative stress. The food with the highest antioxidant value on the planet is the cocoa bean. Rich in potent Antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which protect our bodies from free radical damage, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins.

Cocoa contains 4 times the antioxidants of green tea. One of the most complex food substances on earth containing over 300 chemically identifiable compounds. Based on the lengthy list of cacao's makeup, many health benefits are associated with cacao and thus chocolate, like heart health and brain power.

However, please understand that just because chocolate is dark, it does not mean it is healthy.

Milk chocolate doesn't have the same benefits, as the milk cancels out the chocolate's antioxidant effects. Researchers have suggested that proteins in the milk bind with the antioxidants, making them less easily absorbed by the body.

Even dark chocolate has to have been properly processed before it can be a health food. The usual processing methods of chocolate are destroying about one-quarter to one-half of chocolate's flavonoids. Unfortunately, store bought chocolates varieties are not providing the same benefits -- as they are processed with a mixture of artificial sweeteners, 2 percent milk fats and the very health-harming trans fats.

One healthy dark chocolate made by Xocai also contains the Acai berry. The Acai berry, from the Amazon Jungle, is the 2nd highest Antioxidant in the world - containing 14 times more Antioxidants than raw spinach & 10 times more potent than red wine. This Xocai Chocolate contains more healthy nutrients than almost anything you could put in your body -- that's why the media is making such a fuss about it!

Although eating dark chocolate may be a great source for antioxidants, and even help us lose weight, we must eat the right type of dark chocoate to receive the health benefits.

While this is fantastic news for chocolate lovers, we still have to make sure we eat chocolate in moderation and not over indulge.

Author's Bio: 

Karen Walker is an author, mentor, and abundance coach who shows people how to create passive income streams on the Internet. To discover how you can gain immediate benefits from healthy dark chocolate while make money online from home in your spare time, visit: Dark Chocolate For Healthy Living