Magnesium in Chocolate?
Benefits of Chocolate
Magnesium in Chocolate
One of the benefits of chocolate is significant amounts of magnesium. Peter Meisel, of the Department of
Pharmacology, Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany, says “a bar of this chocolate supplies the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.”
Jean Mayer, of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (J.B.B.), Tufts University, Boston, Mass., said “Consumption of flavanol-rich dark chocolate (DC) has been shown to decrease blood pressure (BP) and insulin resistance in healthy subjects.
Estimates range from over 100 mg of magnesium per 100 grams of chocolate, but lets start with the cocao bean. At 131 mg per 100 grams, raw cocoa powder, which is extracted from the cocao bean with the fats removed, would seem to be the richest natural source of magnesium we know of. That’s great…but who eats raw cocoa powder? It’s more reasonable to look at 25-30 mgs of magnesium in your chocolate, the kind you buy at the store, and that all depends on the cocoa content. 70% or higher cocoa content chocolate is a good snack. This applies specifically to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate.
Milk chocolate only has about 25% of the magnesium that dark chocolate does.
That hot cocoa you drink on a cool morning does more than just satisfy a sweet tooth, as long as it is rich in cocoa powder. (In fact coconut milk with cocoa is another super magnesium concoction-and tasty!)
This would seem to be to good to be true, but it has been sufficiently verified to gain the acceptance of the medical community.
A new study, which involved a review of three prior studies, suggests eating about a bar of chocolate a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death after a stroke. Neurologist Gustavo Saposnik at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto says the evidence is still limited, but he suggests further investigation.
One study they looked at found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely tohave a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. Another study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn’t eat chocolate.
Going back a little farther, Jean Calment lived to the age of 122, healthy to the end in 1997. She attributed herlongevity to olive oil, two cigarettes a day and a kilo (2.2 pounds!) of chocolate per week. Admittedly, this is liking asking someone why they have a full head of hair. Ms. Calmert was blessed with longevity, and at the veryleast we can say that 2 kilos of chocolate a week didn’t likely shorten her life.
Still, there’s enough here to say that dark chocolate covered almonds are one doozy of a magnesium boost. Almonds are high in magnesium as well.
The only question here is this: Can we make up for our magnesium deficiency by indulging in daily chocolate binges?
Well….maybe that’s not such a good idea.
Here’s the bad news (you knew there had to be a catch, right?)
Chocolate is still a junk food. While the magnesium in chocolate will be a benefit, as will the anti-oxidants in it, you are getting a lot of other stuff you might be better off without. Sugar, for one. Fatty calories for another. While magnesium works to prevent the onset of adult Type II diabetes and reduce inflammatory diseases, the sugar will be working to screw up your insulin levels and increase inflammatory conditions.
Chocolate also has high copper levels, which can bring on a number of problems over years. Accumulated copper levels actually worsen many of the conditions that magnesium makes better.
This is not meant to scare you, as chocolate is a pleasurable food. Just keep in mind that it’s not a cure-all, and shouldn’t be overindulged in.
So, if you want something sweet and fun, buy all means make sure it’s chocolate with a high cocoa content. Mixed with almonds is even better. While your main source of magnesium shouldn’t be the magnesium in chocolate, there’snothing wrong enjoying the benefits of chocolate at your usual dessert or snack time.