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11 Facts about Chocolate

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  1. Dark chocolate has more cacao (the beans that chocolate are made from) and less sugar than other chocolates, so it is considered healthier than milk and white chocolate^[Mora, RD, Kati. "Food Fight: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate." Fitness Magazine. Accessed April 15, 2014. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/2012/01/23/healthy-eating/milk-chocolate-or-dark-chocolate/>.]
  2. Dark chocolate contains lots of antioxidants that help the cardiovascular system by reducing blood pressure^[DeNoon, Daniel. "Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate." Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  3. Eating dark chocolate widens arteries and promotes healthy blood flow that can prevent the buildup of plaque that can block arteries.^[Internet Brands, Inc.. "6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate." Fit Day. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  4. Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by 1/3.^[Laino, Charlene. "Chocolate Good for the Heart." WebMD. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  5. Flavonoids found in cocoa products have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting effects that can reduce the risk of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.^[Mora, RD, Kati. "Food Fight: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate." Fitness Magazine. Accessed April 15, 2015. .]
  6. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which trigger relaxation.^[Internet Brands, Inc.. "6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate." Fit Day. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  7. Chocolate can cause headaches and is not recommended in large doses for people who suffer from migraines or chronic headaches.^[Magee, MPH, RD, Elaine . "How what you eat can affect your headaches." MedicineNet. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  8. Because chocolate contains high doses of caffeine and sugar, chocolate products are largely to blame for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children.^[Microsoft. "5 Foods to Feed Your Child With ADHD—and 5 to Avoid." Healthy Living MSN. Accessed April 15, 2015. .]
  9. In the U.S., most consumer chocolate comes from cocoa farms. Unfortunately, many cocoa farms have unsafe working conditions, unfair labor wages, and child labor trafficking.^[Food Empowerment Project. "Slavery in the Chocolate Industry." Food Empowerment Project. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
  10. In 2010 1.8 million children ages 5 to 17 were forced laborers on cocoa farms across the Ivory Coast and Ghana 40% were not enrolled in school and only 5% of them were paid to work. UNICEF projects that 35,000 of these children are victims of trafficking.^[Payson Center for International Development Tulane University. " Final Report on the Status of Public and Private Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) in the Cocoa Sectors of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana." Child Labour in the Cocoa Sector. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://www.childlabor-payson.org/Tulane%20Final%20Report.pdf>.]
  11. Fair Trade Certified chocolate says that no forced abusive child labor is used, but Fair Trade chocolate represents less than 1 percent of the $66 billion chocolate market.^[The United Nations. "Unicef Cote D’ivoire Fighting Child Trafficking." UNICEF. Accessed April 15, 2014. .]
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