Shop with the Doc: eating dark chocolate

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Chocolate is always a good remedy when you feel stressed or sad, but it doesn't seem like the best idea if you're trying to live a healthy life.

"People think chocolate is bad for you," said Dr. Pete Sulack, America's Leading Stress Expert.

Would you believe it if he said chocolate is actually healthy?

"Because of the antioxidants, its going to help with your heart, with your brain," said Dr. Pete. "It has good, healthy fats."

--Dark chocolate that is.

Dr. Pete Sulack shopped around Earth Fare in Turkey Creek. He told Local 8 News dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. It's even a super food.

"Some say its almost 20 times more powerful as an antioxidant than even blueberries and strawberries," said Dr. Pete.

Cocoa makes dark chocolate bitter, but that's also what makes it healthy.

"The cocoa is an evergreen tree," said Dr. Pete. "The coco beans or the cocoa seeds are where we get all the nutrients."

So the more cocoa, the better.

"So if you want the benefits of chocolate, you wanna make sure you're consuming it with at least 70% cocoa because it's rich in antioxidants, its anti-inflammatory in nature and something you can be very comfortable consuming on a regular basis," said Dr. Pete.

Eating dark chocolate is all about moderation. A chocolate bar should last you a week, not an hour.

That's about ten grams a day. That will help fight cardiovascular disease by increasing blood flow and decreasing blood pressure.

It's even good for your skin.

"If you consume dark chocolate 30 minutes before going out into the sun, it will bring blood flow to the skin and prevent you from burning," said Dr. Pete.

You can even increase the benefits -- Eat a piece of dark chocolate with an organic apple. That combination boosts the antioxidants.