Because of the continued interest in health promotion and bioactive phytochemicals in foods, health educators continue to reassess and evaluate traditional views on foods and their contribution to health. Scienti c evidence supports the hypothesis that a variety of plant-based foods in the diet can provide a wealth of potentially bene cial phytochemicals and other components that contribute to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Most of the cardiovascular health bene ts of cocoa and chocolate are attributed to its —avonoids. Recent reports indicate that the main —avonoids found in cocoa, —avan-3-ols and their oligomeric derivatives, procyanidins, have a variety of bene cial actions, including antioxidant protection and modulation of vascular homeostasis. The lipid content of chocolate is relatively high; however, one-third of the lipid in cocoa butter is composed of the fat stearic acid, which exerts a neutral cholesterolemic response in humans. Cocoa and chocolate contribute to trace mineral intake, which is necessary for optimum functioning of all biological systems and for vascular tone. Thus, multiple components in chocolate, particularly —avonoids, contribute to the complex interplay of nutrition and health.