Chocolate is a Superfood
Have you heard the news? Chocolate is a “Superfood”. Yes, that’s right. Go ahead…pinch yourself…this is not a dream. In fact, ounce for ounce, dark chocolate and cocoa have more antioxidants than blueberries, red wine and green tea. But, be careful. Not all chocolate is created
How To Get the “Healthy Bang” For Your Buck
There are three things to remember when shopping for chocolate to ensure that you are getting the most, “healthy bang” for your buck:
Tip #1: Buy chocolate with a minimum of 60% Cocoa.
Cocoa, which is used to make chocolate, is made from “cocao” (pronounced ka-kow) beans. Like other foods derived from plants, cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate and therefore packs more of a healthy punch. So, look for chocolate with a minimum of 60% cocoa. The more cocoa in your chocolate the more antioxidants you are getting.
Tip #2: Avoid chocolate that has been “Dutch Processed”, “Dutched” or says “Alkalai” on the label.
Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkali to modify the color and produce a milder tasting chocolate than natural chocolate. However, many of the antioxidants are lost through this process. Check the label and avoid chocolates that have been “Dutched”.
Tip #3: Buy chocolate when it is the first ingredient listed on the label.
Most commercial chocolates have ingredients that add fat, sugar and calories. Too much of these can contribute to weight gain, a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. So read the ingredients on the label. Remember, all chocolate is not created equal.
Moderation is Key
OK, so you followed the tips and purchased a bar of dark chocolate with a minimum of 60% cocoa that has been naturally processed and cocoa is the first ingredient listed on the label. Good job! There is still one more thing to remember before you tear open that wrapper…moderation, moderation, moderation. The same studies that gave dark chocolate the “good-for-you award”, also recommend that it should be enjoyed in moderation…no more than 3 ounces per day.
10 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
1. Good For Your Heart
Improves blood flow and circulation. Reduces bad cholesterol and Inflammation
2. Good For Your Brain
Increased blood flow improves cognitive function
3. Helps Control Blood Sugar
A low glycemic index food that won’t send blood sugar spiking
4. Reduces Cancer Risk
Antioxidants protect cells
5. Slows Signs of Aging
Antioxidants protect cells
6. Contains Theobromine
Quiets coughs and strengthens tooth enamel
7. Improves Vision
Increased blood flow to the retina
9. High in fiber
Can actually help keep you full so you’ll eat less.