Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dark Chocolate

When most people think of a food addiction, they automatically think of chocolate.  I understand that Americans consume about 3 billion pounds of chocolate a year and about one pound per person per month. Cocoa, the base of chocolate, can provide health benefits such as helping to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease and improving circulation. It is dark chocolate that deserves the attention. Chocolate contains plant based antioxidants known as flavonoids that help to protect the body against the problems caused  from free-radicals. The darker the chocolate the higher the level of flavonoids and the more likely the health benefits. Researchers also suggest that eating a modest amount (1oz) daily can reduce stress hormones. Keep in mind that we are talking about dark chocolate and very little of that. The dark chocolate Milky Way with the added sugar and caramel is not the same thing. For health benefits, look for dark chocolate that is  more than 70 percent cocoa. It taste nothing like a Milky Way!