Dark Chocolate in a Healthy Diet

Benefits, plus smoothie recipe

MARCELA-DARK-CHOCOLATE-INS1
Dark chocolate is delicious, but did you know it also has many health benefits? It’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and has potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Dark chocolate should be considered a snack or a dessert food; you can add it to your favorite hot beverage, your protein shake or just eat a piece with some strawberries. Try to be creative!

MARCELA-DARK-CHOCOLATE-INS2However, it’s important to remember that not all dark chocolate is the same. Try to eat organic, ensure that a minimum of 70 percent of it is pure cocoa, and check the calories, sugar, oils and all other ingredients added.

Dark Chocolate Facts

• Eating 1 oz of dark chocolate two or three times per week is good for your heart and health! It can help lower your blood pressure, improve blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. Some studies show it can help to prevent arteriosclerosis.

• Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA). This is the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. This PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, which make you feel happy.

• Dark chocolate is a natural stimulant because it contains caffeine.

• The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance and help control blood sugar.

• Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often, according to a study led by Beatrice Golomb and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego.

• Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that help to prevent premature aging and some types of cancer.

• Dark chocolate contains theobromine. As a dentist I know the importance of theobromine, because it helps to harden the tooth enamel.

Dark Chocolate Smoothie

Dark Chocolate in a Healthy Diet - Benefits, plus smoothie recipeIngredients:

3 cups of almond milk
2-3 frozen bananas, chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (use 70% cocoa)
1 teaspoon cocoa nips
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter

Directions

In a blender, add the chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, peanut butter and 1 cup of almond milk. Blend for about 30 seconds. Add other remaining ingredients and blend until liquefied.

Nutrition Data
Serving size: 275 grams
Calories: 301
Fat: 14.5 grams
Carbs: 36.6
Protein: 11.2

Moderation

I invite you to enjoy dark organic chocolate BUT in moderation! Remember that a chocolate bar can contain more than 200 calories, which mostly come from saturated fats and sugar, according to Nancy Copperman, director of Public Health Initiatives at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

References:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120327/Chocolate-for-weight-loss-Study.aspx
http://darkchocolatebrands.net/how-to-pick-the-best-dark-chocolate.html#.UfmWbGSDQXw
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2012/03/12/6-essential-foods-for-boosting-your-work-focus/2/
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html
http://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/issues/2009-february/valentines-sweetest-treat.html

Marcela Tribin

Marcela Tribin is a dentist, an IFBB Bikini Pro athlete and MHP Team athlete . She loves to write on topics about the latest advances in health, beauty, nutrition and supplements. Her goal is to provide simple but useful information for healthy living!

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