written by Mon Sun Chan, The Chocolate Date Diva
After many scientific findings, chocolate is now known to be a one of the world’s health food and mood enhancer bringing out the feelings of “being in love”. And it is the most chosen flavor in many products. Not only does it feed the soul and satisfy the taste buds, but it nourishes the body thanks to the abundance of nutrients and flavonoids. Who would have known this dark decadence would have so many health benefits when we have been told it to avoid it like many other junk foods.
Exciting and yummy news! Now lets delve deeper to see what all the hoopla is about the benefits of this healthy treat.
As you may have already discovered, chocolate is put into three main categories: white, milk and dark. According to many findings and articles, dark chocolate is the best out of three. Why? White and milk chocolate is processed with higher contents of dairy products, sugar and other preservatives. Dark chocolate, also known as bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate is processed in a way where its’ natural benefits are still intact.
You may be wondering what are the benefits?
1. It is like a natural anti-depressant without the doctor’s prescription! Contains serotonin and adophamine that feeds your brain putting you in a lighter, happier state.
2. Natural antioxidants helps fight free radicals know to cause heart aliments and improves the flexibility of the blood vessels aiding in blood circulation and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
3. Beneficial for the joints and helps reduces pain and stiffness
4. Dark chocolate contain higher cacao content and large amount of flavonoids called Epicatechins and Catechins which help protect your body’s immune system. Flavonoids are also found in green tea, red wine and blueberries.
5. Also contains natural minerals like iron and magnesium. Did you know magnesium helps the body cope with stress and aids with sleep?
6. Chocolate contain cocoa butter which is the healthy fat that does not affect the production of insulin in the body. Cocoa butter, the most expensive part of the bean has wonderful healing properties. Commonly used ingredient in many skin care products that helps with skin dryness.
7. Diabetics and those who are lactose intolerance can enjoy this decadent treat due to the low sugar content and absence of dairy components. Unfortunately, not all dark chocolate are alike so be sure to read the ingredient list.
Chocolate is chalk full of health benefits so you can see why it is great to incorporate a piece in your daily diet. As with all foods, “moderation is the key”.
Action step: All you need to enjoy the health benefits and satisfy the sweet tooth is just two squares 14-20grams per day. A little bit goes a long way not that you any excuses to eat dark chocolate.
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To your health!