Chocolate and Health

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

As we approach the holiday devoted to the celebration of love we are bombarded with images of jewelry, flowers and of course chocolate! For you chocoholics out there there is some good news - chocolate in moderate amounts really is good for you. Cocoa contains flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant. They can lower your blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and even relieve stress by helping your body to elliminate excess cortisol (the stress hormone). 

There is, however, a catch....not all types of chocolate are nutritionally equal. Here are a couple of tips for getting the most nutritional bang for your indulgant buck.

  • Opt for dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the higher levels of cocoa colids and flavonoids, the better. Strive to consume a square of 70% cocoa or higher a few times a week for optimal health benefits.

  • Reduce Milk Chocolate Consumption: Made with milk and sweeteners mixed with cocoa, milk chocolate is higher in fat than dark. Some also contain high levels of parafin wax which changes the flavour and lowers the nutritional value of the chocolate.

  • Stay clear of white: White is the least nutritious of the three types of chocolate. White is generally made with cocoa butter but not the cocoa solids and is also made with high amounts of milk and sugar.

So there are a few simple strategies to help make the most of your love affair with chocolate and help to lessen any guilt that you might be hanging on to.....  And once you adjust to the deep, rich flavour of dark chocolate, it is hard to go back!

Categories: Mindful Nutrition

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