If you’re anything like me, you are a chocolate addict. I could eat pretty much anything chocolate, and if you put it in front of me, there is no self-control. Many studies out there show that dark chocolate is good for more than curing a broken heart.
The secret behind chocolate’s powerful punch is cacao, which is also the source of its distinct taste. Janae Richey, Banner Children’s outpatient dietitian for Cardon Children’s Medical Center, has four tips on why dark chocolate is healthy for you:
- Dark chocolate is good for your heart: eating less than half an ounce of dark chocolate per day can help lower your blood pressure. That’s less than two Hershey’s Kisses.
- Dark chocolate is good for your brain: it increases blood flow to the brain as well as the heart, so it can improve cognitive function.
- Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants: antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells.
- Dark chocolate is high in vitamins and minerals: these vitamins and minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium and iron can support your health.
“Beware that you don’t cancel out potential health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa by eating too many calories or too much saturated fat,” warns Richey. “Addition of caramel, nuts, nougat, etc., can undermine health benefits, no matter how tasty the treat.”
Check out my favorite semi-healthy, sweet treat that satisfies my craving for all things chocolate!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
Servings: 12 Size: 1 strawberry Calories: 49
- 4 oz. dark semi-sweet chocolate
- 12 strawberries
- Rinse and completely dry the strawberries.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, microwave chocolate on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stirand repeat until all the chocolate is melted. (Do not overheat or the chocolate will become chunky and separated)
- Dip strawberries and place on waxed paper to cool. You can eat right away refrigerate to give it a hard chocolate coating.
For more fun, healthy recipes visit Banner Health’s recipe library!