Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits!

I cannot live without chocolate. But not any kind of chocolate, I only crave dark chocolate. The reasons we all love dark chocolate is because it obviously tastes wonderful, it stimulates the production of endorphin (makes you feel good), it has stimulants such as caffeine, and it contains serotonin (acts as an anti-depressant). But dark chocolate has many more benefits, in particular health benefits; it has many essential minerals including magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese, and most significant, flavonoids (antioxidants). Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (8 times the amount found in strawberries). A small portion of dark chocolate everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and also lower cholesterol by up to 10 percent.

To get the best benefits from dark chocolate, consume no more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dark chocolate a day. Choose a dark chocolate that has no less than 65 percent cocoa content. Also choose a pure variety of dark chocolate or one with nuts, such as almonds. Stay away from anything that has caramel, nougat, fruit fillings, etc.. The fillings just add fat and sugar and take away from many of the health benefits of the dark chocolate. Lastly, savor and enjoy the complex taste of dark chocolate. If you are a true chocolate lover, you may be interested in this link – a system for tasting chocolate.

PS – for best results, don’t have your chocolate bar with a glass of milk. This combination has been proven to prevent the absorption of antioxidants into your body.   
Rich chocolate desserts are also a great way to show your loved one how much you love them on Valentine's Day. Here are some great dark chocolate inspired desserts. 

1 comment:

  1. Ashley, I say you really did your homework about the health benefits of chocolate. There's more to dark chocolate than just feeling good and benefiting from antioxidants, so it's not surprising that most people prefer them over milk chocolates. Even the other good things like being healthier to our teeth make this one so lovable.