Chocolate is relaxing. It’s calming. It soothes our nerves and makes us feel good. And we often think of it as a sinful indulgence. But it doesn’t have to be. If you choose your chocolate wisely, you can enjoy it without the guilty feelings we normally associate with it.
What Are the Healthy Aspects of Chocolate?
By eating small amounts of the right chocolate, you will enjoy the many health aspects of chocolate. Chocolate contains high levels of potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins B1, B2, D and E. If that’s not reason enough to reach for a daily dose of chocolate, consider that it can also lower blood pressure and prevent arteries from hardening, therefore protecting the heart.
Has Chocolate Been Wrongly Accused?
For the most part, chocolate has been wrongly accused. New studies are finding that common beliefs about the effects of chocolate are not true after all. While we used to associate chocolate with acne, researchers have now dismissed a possible link between the two. While some people avoided chocolate because of the caffeine level associated with it, we now know that a small serving only contains as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Does chocolate really cause migraines? Well, only if consumed in large amounts. Again, moderation plays a big role here.
So before you reach for a Hershey bar of a Snicker’s, consider that the chocolate you eat should contain 70% cocoa. This can be found specifically in dark chocolates. You should invest in a quality dark chocolate and eat it in small amounts every day to see the health benefits. Make sure you enjoy each bite and let it melt in your mouth. It will have the same effect as the recommended single glass of wine per day.
What Kind of Chocolate Offers The Most Health Aspects?
True cocoa is the best chocolate to eat for health reasons. Not only will it satisfy your sweet tooth, but it will also provide health aspects beyond what many of us dreamed possible. The recommendation is to eat two small squares of chocolate per day. We’re not talking about a typical candy bar here. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of cocoa and lower level of milk and sugar.
The best varieties of chocolate are more expensive and are dark or bittersweet. Good chocolate should only have a few ingredients on the contents label. In addition, you can buy organic chocolate or make your own homemade chocolate with a cocoa base.
Healthy Chocolate Snacks
There are some easy ways to get in your daily dose of heart-healthy chocolate. Try a steamy cup of hot cocoa, fruit dipped dark in chocolate, chocolate covered almonds or eat the squares of chocolate by themselves.
Chocolate in Moderation
Hearing that chocolate has health aspects does not mean we can load up our grocery carts with chocolate bars though. It is important to adhere to the daily-recommended dose since it is high in calories. Moderation is a key factor here. Balance your caloric intake with a variety of other heart-healthy foods and reach for the dark chocolate as a cure for your sweet tooth sparingly.