I have always been a fan of chocolate. Ok, so maybe an obsessed fan. With Easter approaching, and of course, chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and well just CHOCOLATE in general, I thought – hey how about a blog on the benefits of chocolate. Imagine my surprise when I learned that dark chocolate – my favorite, by the way – is included in the Healing Foods Pyramid. This particular pyramid focuses on foods that have healing properties and essential nutrients.
Dark chocolate has been shown to:
- Decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Reduce risk of blood clots
- Increase blood flow in arteries and the heart
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve mood and pleasure
- Protect your skin
- Decrease inflammation
- And, believe it or not, those who eat a little bit every day have lower BMIs (body mass index) than those who don’t.
Of course, you do have to consider the chocolate that you are eating in order to realize the health benefits. Turn over that chocolate bar and check out the ingredients. Make sure the first item listed is cocoa and that it contains at least 60%. Try to avoid anything that contains the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
And don’t forget, chocolate does contain a lot of calories. Try to limit it to no more than 1 ounce a day, which should be about one ear of that chocolate bunny. Enjoy!
Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.