GUILT FREE DECADENCE
Want a delicious treat that you can feel good about eating? Look no further. Medical studies have shown that eating dark chocolate is good for your health.
Specifically, dark chocolate is good for the heart. Dark chocolate has a very high cocoa content. Included in this is a chemical epicatechin. Epicatechin is an active member of the plant flavoniods family.
What flavoniods do is they prevent cholesterol from settling in blood vessels. This ultimately reduced the risk of blood clots, slowing down the immune response that leads to clogged arteries.
Eating dark chocolate also helps lower blood pressure. Studies were made at the University of Cologne, Germany proving this and were published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
It seems that it is also the high level of antioxidants present in dark chocolate that make it so special. These antioxidants chase away free radials, destructive molecules that are the culprit of heart disease and many other ailments.
However, take note not to drink milk when you eat your dark chocolate. In a recent study conducted by Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, it was found that milk weakens the potent power of dark chocolate.
According to Mauro Serafini, PhD, “Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate, and therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”
What is considered a moderate amount of dark chocolate for daily consumption? About 1 ounces a day is considered the best choice.
Why such a small piece? This is because chocolate is loaded with calories. Eating too much dark chocolate for antioxidant purposes could backfire and cause weight gain. If you choose to eat more dark chocolate, be sure to cut back somewhere else in your diet.
Do the benefits of eating chocolate extend to other members of the chocolate family? The answer is no. Neither eating milk chocolate nor eating white chocolate will give you any health benefits.
Why is this? Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa phenols. The higher cocoa percentage that the chocolate has, the better the health benefit.
Are the flavonoids that are found in chocolate, found in any other foods? The answer is no.
Chocolate companies have recently heard about the health claims made about eating dark chocolate and have created new products for this purpose. Many companies offer a special dark brand of chocolate that has a very high cocoa percentage.
Lindt brand chocolates were one of the first to supply the demand for concentrated dark chocolates. They have several different bars which boast medium to very strong cocoa concentrations on the label. Many companies are posting the percentage on the label, as Lindt does.
Being a dark chocolate lover myself, may I recommend trying Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles? Being healthy never tasted so good.