I love chocolate but thin is in. Unfortunately, chocolate is my favorite food group. Like many of us, I must watch my weight. How can I possibly carry on my love affair with Godiva and Ghirardelli and not destroy my good diet intentions?
First of all, let me clarify what I mean by diet. Yes, there are times that I limit my intake of everything so I can fit into my jeans. However, when I refer to diet here, I mean my daily intake of food.
Not bad for you
I was so excited when I read that not only can I eat my favorite delicacy every day, it is good for me. According to university studies, women who ate 2 pieces of chocolate every day tend to maintain a low Body Mass Index (BMI). That means it does not increase fat within the body. This is some really good news.
As if this is not great enough, chocolate has an anxiety reducing property. Anxiety is my middle name, and if I can lower it with my favorite food, life is good. Other benefits are lightened mood and a resistance to disordered eating.
The cacao plant is full of flavanols, a plant pigment that benefits the heart. Cacao is in the same health category as tea, grapes, wine and grapefruit. Dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao, does not have the fat and sugar that other chocolate products hold. Personally, I like 78%. It all comes down to taste, but health professionals suggest consuming 2 squares a day. A chocolate bar labeled “70 percent” is a good choice; it contains 70 percent ground cacao and 30 percent sugar. The ground cacao is comprised of cacao butter (a natural oil) along with ground particles of the cacao seed.
Believe it or not, eating this piece of chocolate benefits brain health and its latest nickname is “brain food”. Super food. The right kinds of chocolate, consumed regularly, can help keep your mind sharp and alert, and your mood calm and happy.
Helps prevent and treat diseases
Our sweet friend does all of the following:
- Prevention of blood clots
- Protection of nerve cells
- Anti-inflammatory for the brain and body
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Reduction of insulin retesistance
- Regulation of genes that control body weight
- Inhibition of cancer growth
Researchers have shown that chocolate benefits health, helping to treat and prevent diseases of the brain and cardiovascular system in particular.
The key to benefiting from the brain and mood-boosting effects of chocolate is to choose a good dark chocolate or cocoa powder and to consume moderate amounts regularly. Ghirardelli is a good one. It is available in a bag so the temptation of eating a whole bar is not in front of you.
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Writer, course developer, and children’s book author are among her many accomplishments She has always been interested in health and cooking. As she retired from corporate America, she developed a new pastime. What better time than to start a blog and share her knowledge of the world of culinary arts Mediterranean style.
Many of her recipes are handed down from generations and molded to her taste. Adventures in cooking are her favorite way to wile away the day.