Well, let me qualify that statement first. If you’re drinking minimially processed cocoa, where the flavanols, which typically give a bitter flavor to chocolate are usually taken out to give the chocolate a smoother, sweeter flavor. It is with the darker chocolates that are a little on the bitter side that you get more of a powerful group of antioxidants called flavanols.
Research is showing that these darker chocolates (cocoa) actually are beneficial to the arteries and veins, keeping them dilated, and more importantly, keeping the blood flowing in the brain, acting both as a mind refresher and a possible stroke preventer.
Studies were done on an indigenous culture who consumed almost daily, unrefined cocoa drinks in their diet – hence a lot of these little flavanols. Not only did they have almost no reports of dementia, but their blood pressure was almost never out of control either.
These studies are probably going to prompt more hot cocoa drinks which will capitalize on the idea of antioxidants and flavanols. Already Cocoa Via bars have capitalized on this notion, promoting themselves as the healthy chocolate and being rich in antioxidants.
These products are primarily marketed to women, whom everyone knows tend to love their chocolate, but consuming foods rich in flavanols such as cocoa, wine and certain fruits is also greatly beneficial to men, and should be considered as a heavy influence in the male diet as well.