Need Another Excuse to Eat Chocolate?
I thought that since it is the month of chocolate’s most
popular holiday, Valentine’s Day, it would be fitting to give you all some
comfort and encouragement about just how delectible, rich, and even
healthy the candy can be! So before
you’re kicking yourself over indulging in the luscious treat, relax, and pop
another chocolate into your mouth or even use it to cook a delicious meal for
you and a loved one!
I came across the article, Go Cocoa Loco,
in the most recent issue of Women’s Health Magazine, where I read that
chocolate can actually be good for you! Scientists have found that the cocoa
bean, which is actually a fruit, has been found to have a variety of benefits.
As some of you may or may not know, chocolate is one of the most antioxidant-rich
foods on the planet and has more flavonols than berries and tea. Antioxidants
and flavonols are important to your health because they rid the body of excess
free radicals which have been linked to cancer, aging, and a number of other
diseases. Along with diminishing radical levels, the article indicates that “studies
have connected cocoa to lower blood pressure and decreased risk of heart attack
and stroke” due to its ability to increase blood flow. The article also reports
that the increased blood flow to your brain helps with memory and learning. The
antioxidants in cocoa benefit your immune system and aid in the muscle recovery
after a tough workout. Ever been seriously craving a chocolate fix after a
tough day at work or before a stressful test? Grab a piece because studies have
also shown that cocoa can improve your mood due to the serotonin raising
stimulants theobromine, and phenylthyamine.
As long as you are eating chocolate with at least 50 percent
cocoa you will have access to the bountiful benefits. The higher the cocoa
percentage that chocolate has the more antioxidants it has. But, the bitterness
of higher cocoa chocolates may not be for everyone. Experiment with pairing
chocolate with a variety of foods ranging from fruit to cakes to chicken! Check
out a few of the recipes included in the article, including chocolate fruit
bark and poached chicken with chocolate mole! Ask for chocolate for Valentine’s
Day and enjoy every last bite of it!