Dark Chocolate: Eat your Heart Out

I’ve been wolfing down Dark Chocolate the past few days, a stress-buster for our hectic season. I want to spread the joy. As most of you already know, dark chocolate is healthy and wholesome. Still, you can’t have enough delectable news, especially if it’s about dark chocolate. Here’s the sweet news: 1. 1. Two tablespoons of cocoa contains more antioxidants than 1 cup of blueberries, 1 1/2 glasses of red wine, or 4 cups of green tea (i.e. Instead of forcefully gulping down icky green tea for its health benefits, munch on dark chocolate!); 2. 2.The flavanols in chocolate help stimulate blood flow, which in turn can protect against inflammation, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. It also helps with cognitive abilities. Eating 6.7 grams of dark chocolate a day, which is about half a bar a week, can help reap these benefits. (i.e. The cure for memory lapse? Eat more chocolate, how utterly divine!) 3. 3. Dark chocolate gives a more pronounced feeling of satiety than milk chocolate, which might make it a good weight-suppressant tool. In a recent study, participants were given either dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and then were offered as much pizza as they wanted afterwards. Those who ate dark chocolate ate 15 percent fewer calories in pizza than those who ate the milk chocolate. The dark chocolate eaters also reported feeling less of a desire to eat salty, fattening or sweet foods afterwards. (I have actually experimented on this, each time I had a craving for the sinful food that finds its way into my hips, I reach for my Dark friend instead.) 4. 4.A compound extracted from cocoa has been shown to have beneficial effects on teeth. A study showed that this extract, which is chemically similar to caffeine, helps harden tooth enamel, which helps protect against cavities. (Don’t tell your kids this.) 5. 5.Pregnant women who eat chocolate regularly (five or more servings of dark chocolate a week) have a reduced risk of developing preeclampsia, a complication caused by high blood pressure. (And this one is mine, since you are gloriously happy savoring your chocolate, your elation keeps the baby happy too. Really, both my kids had a mouthful of happy chocolate in the womb.)

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So, Dark chocolate = ambrosial

Milk chocolate = not as good

White chocolate = bad

Oh a word of caution, too much of anything is bad for you. So, too much chocolate of any kind = bad

*From the book, Chocolate: A Healthy Passion by Shara Aaron and Monica Bearden

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