January 24, 2019

Mmm… Chocolate – It’s Good For My Health?

By The DAHLC

Mmm... Chocolate. We all enjoy eating treats and not feeling guilty about it, right? Well, did you know that small amounts of dark chocolate (1-2 squares) may be good for your heart, increase your mood, decrease your blood pressure and help you live longer?

Cacao beans or the powder made from them are an ancient food with a renewed status as a “superfood”.   Like other superfoods such as spinach, blueberries, and salmon shown to have positive health benefits, dark chocolate is naturally rich in antioxidants.  Other nutrients dark chocolate is rich in include:

  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorous
  • Flavanols

Useful tips:

  1. Choose 70% dark chocolate or higher to obtain the most antioxidants. Keep in mind that, as the percentage of cocoa increases, the greater the bitter flavor.
  2. Pair dark chocolate or cocoa powder with naturally sweet foods such as fruit.
  3. Store in a cool dry area (65-70 degrees).

Ways to incorporate:

  • Include 1-2 tablespoons of melted dark chocolate over plain Greek yogurt, or fresh fruit as a healthy snack
  • Include ~2 tablespoons of unsweetened dark chocolate in the form of chips to your overnight oats
  • Blend 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa with a frozen banana for a dairy free version of chocolate ice cream

As Valentine’s Day approaches, share a piece of dark chocolate with your significant other and/or friends, and feel good about it!

Tags: Blog, Blog, Eat Well, Fit & Flavorful, Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Tip

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