For the Love of Chocolate

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of chocolate.  So in honour of today’s holiday (which I happen to despise), I thought I would research the health benefits of chocolate!  Believe it or not, it appears there are actually some health benefits associated with eating dark chocolate. Here are a few key points that I found:

  • Dark chocolate contains flavonoids (which are antioxidants) that can help protect you from damage caused by free radicals
  • Consuming dark chocolate may help reduce blood pressure, as well as elevate HDL (or “good”) cholesterol and decrease inflammation
  • Dark chocolate may act as an anti-depressant
  • Consumption of dark chocolate may protect against cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes
  • For the most part, it is unclear what “dose” is needed in order to reap these benefits

Unfortunately, a lot of the information says chocolate “may” contribute to such health benefits.  Research hasn’t been entirely conclusive.  I say…. chocolate’s okay once in a while as long as it is consumed in MODERATION!  Here are a few tips to help you avoid chowing down on that entire box of chocolates your sweetie so kindly purchased for you:

  1. I know this is WAY easier said than done…. but just eat one!  All you really need is a little taste. Think of the stomach ache you’ll get after plowing through 10 of those bad boys.
  2. Instead of whole pieces of chocolate, try melting a small (I repeat, SMALL) handful of dark chocolate chips and drizzling them over a mountain of fresh fruit.
  3. Make some Chocolate Nut Bark with dark chocolate chips (or the contents of your box of chocolates).  I found this recipe on EatingWell.com.  Apparently it is considered “healthy” (i.e. 74 calories and 5 grams of fat per piece).  I would personally add half nuts/half dried fruit in order to cut a bit more fat out of this recipe.
  4. If all else fails, ask your significant other to hide the chocolate from you.  Seriously.  I know how difficult it can be to walk away… Your mind always seems to say.. “Just ONE MORE!”

As much as I hate this holiday, I hope you all enjoy your day and get a chance to spend some time with the ones you love!

To my sweetie: if you are reading this, I hope you got me flowers. They tend to last a lot longer than chocolate ;)

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “For the Love of Chocolate

  1. My significant other is more likely to encourage over-eating on chocolate. Oh well, I guess sharing the extra calories is better than keeping them all to myself.

    Nice blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s