Dark chocolate contains the largest amount of flavonoids compared to milk chocolate and white chocolate.3 Flavonoids are a special type of antioxidant. They have a healthy effect on blood vessels as well as glucose (sugar) metabolism, and dark chocolate is loaded with them.
Research shows that consuming moderate amounts of chocolate is associated with a significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation—a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat.4
Also, according to Livestrong.com, dark chocolate can put you in a better mood. It works by increasing your serotonin levels—a chemical in your brain that helps your moods—and makes you feel good.5 However, more research is needed to learn just how much dark chocolate you should eat for health benefits.
Dark chocolate alternatives
White chocolate, which is not truly chocolate, milk chocolate and cocoa mixes don't seem to have the same benefits as dark chocolate. To get the most flavonoids, look for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa or more.6
The reality is that ingredients in dark chocolate can be healthy, but the high-calorie chocolate bars that contain them aren't necessarily good for you. The bottom line: it's OK to enjoy some chocolate. But for the health benefits, make it dark and don't eat a lot!