Feb 15, 2012

good for you

Did u sweetheart get you something chocolate for Valentines day?
Good news! You may be able to thank them for contributing to your health!
The more the chocolate is processed, the fewer health benefits remain in the finished product. This is one reason why raw cacao products have become so popular. However, many health benefits remain in non-raw dark chocolate and cocoa, as long as there aren't too many added ingredients like high fructose corn syrup to counterbalance the benefits. The more basic the chocolate, the better! Like anything chocolate needs to be consumed in moderation and you should choose high quality chocolate. No.... Reese Peanut Butter cups and Snickers do not count!

Here are 5 health promoting qualities of chocolate:

1. High in Antioxidants
Cocoa contains flavanols, a type of flavanoid that is only found in cocoa and chocolate. Flavanoids are naturally-occurring compounds that occur in plant foods that act as antioxidants and help counteract free radicals in the body.

2. Lowered Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
Dark chocolate has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in cacao work like brooms in sweeping plaque out of the arteries. Eating dark chocolate on a regular basis has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent.

3. Natural Anti-Depressant
Chocolate contains serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Chocolate also stimulates endorphin production, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure.

4. Cancer Fighter
Several studies have found chocolate to be one of the best cancer-fighting foods along with foods like red wine, blueberries, garlic, and tea. Two ways that chocolate works as a cancer fighter is by inhibiting cell division and reducing inflammation.

5. High in Magnesium
Cacao is higher in magnesium than any other plant. Magnesium is an important mineral that helps in the regulation of the digestive, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.

Here are two of my favorite healthy chocolate companies!!

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