Movie

Movie
Movie Inspired Recipes

Television

Television
Television Inspired Recipes

Book

Book
Book Inspired Recipes

Let's Talk Dark Chocolate.

21 comments /
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of True Healthy Products. All opinions are 100% mine.
What's your favorite healthy snack?  What's your favorite secret indulgence?  Are they one and the same?  I love a handful of nuts as a mid-day snack.  I also some fresh fruit or even a handful of dried fruit as a snack.  And a square or two dark chocolate snapped from the bar or a rich, fudgy brownie are definitely ranked among my favorite secret (okay, not so secret) indulgences.  The thing is, I don't often crave a candy bar or even anything sweet when I'm hungry in the middle of the day.  Unless it's balanced with a bit of salty.  How about my handful of nuts...dipped in a thin coating of dark chocolate.  Please sir, can I have another?  For dessert, why not some fruit dipped in dark chocolate.  Deceptively healthy...as long as you don't over do it.  What's my point?  Sometimes our secret indulgences can actually be beneficial.
Let's talk dark chocolate and its health benefits.  There's actually a reason behind that mood-lift you feel after you've eaten that dark chocolate.  I'm sure the joy of eating it lends to that feeling of higher spirits, but there's more.  Dark chocolate actually releases seratonin, which is an anti-depressant.  It also stimulates your endorphins.  The release of endorphins lifts your spirits.  Not to mention the little boost of energy you feel from the caffeine.  But it's not just your overall sense of well-being that benefits.  Dark chocolate contains antioxidants (disease-fighting compounds) that help fight against aging and disease by reducing ongoing cellular and arterial damage and polyphenols (or flavonoids) that help inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which can make your heart healthier.  Dark chocolate has also been shown to be an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor. What does this mean?  Well, less ACE means lower blood pressure.  More benefits of antioxidants and polyphenols: reduce risk of clot formation, lowering inflammatory response, help arteries function properly by increasing nitric oxide. The magnesium, potassium, and calcium in dark chocolate help muscles to relax and contract.  All of these factors decrease your risk of developing heart disease by contributing to better blood flow.
For the highest health benefits, you want to choose dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.  And I've also read that eating your dark chocolate with milk actually decreases its effectiveness...which is a total bummer, because I love washing down a brownie or a slice of cake or a simple square of chocolate with a cold glass of milk.  I don't think I can completely give up the dark chocolate-milk combo, though.  And as with all things, moderation is key.  Chocolate still has calories...so eat slowly and let the feeling of "secret indulgence" linger on your tongue.  Don't ignore that craving.  Satisfy it with a square of dark chocolate...or some fruit dipped in dark chocolate...or a piece of dark chocolate cake or a brownie.  Why not start the day off with a hit of dark cocoa stirred into your oatmeal or a square broken up and baked in a blanket of puff pastry?  Or maybe stir some minimally processed chocolate into your molé for dinner?  How will you choose to work that dark chocolate into your life?
*I'm not a doctor (just a dark chocolate aficionado).  Everything stated in this post I have learned, read, or heard over the years.  Please consult your physician with any questions or health concerns or before you start any diet regimen.
references:
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Doctor's Chocolate (dark chocolate)

Visit Sponsor's Site

21 comments

  1. You're preaching to the choir with me. No need to convince me of dark chocolates finer points.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lol! i have to agree with Pam! Always loved it and the health benefit is just a wonderful perk for something so good!

    ReplyDelete
  3. No need to convince me, I'm with you, I would never turn down dark chocolate! Especially when it looks like that brownie in the last picture. OMG!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Popcorn is my favorite healthy-ish snack but I always have dark chocolate on hand for a quick bite. I'm loving all of the flavors at Whole Foods.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am drooling so much that I have not got past your description of how dark chocolate can be served. bookmarked for later reading.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Talk about chocolate? Only if you insist.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like to just sit on my butt and eat chunks of it with a nice deep cabernet!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is my weekend treat, a nice sauvignon blanc and chocolates.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love to snack, live, deevour dark chocolate.. loving the dark chocolate brownies,

    ReplyDelete
  10. My favorite thing about dark chocolate is that I can have a smaller amount and still be satisfied. Especially if it's wrapped in puff pastry!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have one piece of dark chocolate every day. Every day! Losing weight, feel grand and wicked at the same time! (So I didn't need convincing...)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I may be a (future) physician, and I always knew that dark chocolate was healthy, but I never knew just how healthy! (Seriously...they teach us nothing important in med school.) Love love loved this post!

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow! now u r talking my language! Love your post :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. true, I feel good after eating dark chocolate, and whatever the reason be, I love it :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dark is my favorite chocolate. I have to admit it never occurred to me to stir some into my oatmeal. Will need to remedy that oversight.

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh my gosh, it's late at night and i've got a hankering for chocolate! beautiful pictures, wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
  17. i am not much of a chocolate lover .. but dark chocolate are my fav and can never say NO to them :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Headed to my fridge to break off a square of dark chocolate now :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am always thrilled when I read about the health benefits of chocolate but it doesn't make me love it more than I already do, it just gives me an excuse to eat and enjoy it with no guilt! Fresh fruit + chocolate or something salty followed by chocolate are both my favorite snacks. But those brownies of yours....wow!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mouthwatering photos--I love my dark chocolate. ;-)

    ReplyDelete