Chocolate Health Benefits Decadence You Can Enjoy!

chocolate

Moderate Consumption of Chocolate is Beneficial

Chocolate is not only a delicious treat it is packed with powerful antioxidants and compounds the body can use to fight off common diseases that may be preventable. Produced from the seed of the Theobroma cocoa seed tropical tree, cocoa has been cultivated for at least 4,00 years was traditionally consumed as a bitter beverage by the Maya and Aztecs. It is typically brown in color for food preparation from the Theobroma cocoa seeds is roasted ground to form a paste or liquid and sweetened to taste with added sugars.

Research shows eating 1.6 ounces or one square of pure unsweetened chocolate once per day can be very beneficial for boosting your mood and increasing magnesium levels giving you more energy.  Calories are your worst enemy finding ways to defeat it can be as simple as changing the ingredients you use in general recipes.

Studies indicate a daily dose of sugar free dark chocolate can promote heart health thanks to flavonoids compounds that are responsible for protecting the brain and reduce risks associated with some diseases.  As of 2018, the average American consumes 12 pounds of chocolate per year and 98  billion US dollars are spent on Chocolate annually,  all indicators of its popularity. (1.)

Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals that have antioxidant capabilities.  It is a naturally occurring plant metabolite thought to provide health benefits with powerful antioxidants found to promote several health benefits for promoting healthy blood vessel function.  Adding this delicious sugar free treat to a clean diet can optimize physical performance.

Commonly used as flavorings in recipes, beverages and deserts chocolate has become a favorite among people of all ages for its distinctive taste.  Despite its reputation for having a high caloric value recent research shows the valuable benefits of consuming this decadent treat.  Even the smell of chocolate increases brain-boosting benefits increasing endorphins that can make you happy.

Endorphins are endogenous opioid neuropeptides and peptide hormones in people, produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland.  The principal function of endorphins is to inhibit the communication of pain signals in the body and may provide a feeling of euphoria an effective state in which a person experiences feelings of intense pleasure or well being.  If you are looking for ways to improve your mood and lower blood pressure a bite of chocolate just might do the trick.

The next time you eat a small piece of chocolate you do not need to feel guilty.  Chocolate is now considered to be beneficial for our health if consumed in moderation does not cause weight gain and provides the body with essential dietary nutrients and concentration of flavanols a flavonoid shown to activate nitric oxide to benefit.  Nitric acid expands blood vessels to increase blood flow and decreasing plaque growth and blood clotting.

Talk to your doctor about adding chocolate and other foods rich in flavanols to help you reduce the risk of obesity and other associated health conditions.

Chocolate Tips

  • Consume 1.6 ounces of pure unsweetened dark chocolate once per day for health benefit (one square)
  • Use unsweetened chocolate in recipes to control calorie content
  • Purchase pure organic 100% dark chocolate
  • Use portion control when eating chocolate to manage weight.

Sugar-Free Almond Chocolate Cups

Create delicious homemade peanut butter treats you can enjoy while still maintaining your diet.  This recipe can be modified to suit your dietary preferences allowing you to make healthy almond chocolate cups where you control the ingredients. Sugar-free syrup can be used to slightly sweeten general recipes without the addition of added sugars.  Shop for sugar-free syrups online or at your local grocery store including popular brand names Mrs. Butterworth’s, LakantoMaple flavored syrup, and Log Cabin Sugar-free syrup.

Unsweetened dark chocolate can be found online or at your local grocery store in the baking section with other brands that are high in sugar.  In the effort to control body weight choose unsweetened chocolate for this recipe.  Popular unsweetened chocolate brands include Hershey, Ghirardelli 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolate wafers, and 100% pure Caco Organic dark chocolate from Santa Barbara chocolate, are some good sources to choose from.  Try this delicious recipe that is both satisfying and nutritious.

Prep time 10 minutes            Total Time 10 minutes           Yields 12 small cups

Ingredients

1.5 cups unsweetened good quality dark chocolate

1 tablespoons of sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter

1/4 cup all natural almond meal ( ground almond meal)

Directions

1.) Place dark chocolate in a glass microwave safe bowl and microwave chocolate for one minute,  Stir mixture and microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds. Repeat 2 or three times until the chocolate has a liquified consistency and is completely melted.

2.) Add 2 tablespoons of sugar-free maple syrup to the melted chocolate mixture and mix well to combine.

3.) In a bowl add 1/4 cup almond butter or 1/4 cup peanut butter (butter of choice) and 1/4 cup almond meal set aside

4.) Line a mini cupcake tin with liners and fill each cup 1/4 of the way with melted chocolate

5.) Add one small dollop of almond butter mixture to the center of each cup onto the melted chocolate

6.) Top each cup with melted chocolate to cover almond or peanut butter mixture

7.) Place the entire tin in the freezer for 15 minutes or until completely chilled and solid.  Enjoy!

Most chocolate is loaded with sugar and sweeteners that will pack on the pounds.  Controlling the sugar and fats in your recipes can greatly reduce the risk of developing obesity helping you manage your body weight.

Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate

  • High In Antioxidants
  • Boost Mood
  • May reduce heart disease
  • May Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improves blood flow
  • Fights disease

Eat Chocolate Every Day Promotes Wellness

Good quality dark chocolate with high cocoa content provides nutritional value if consumed in moderation.  Research suggests eating 1.6-ounce piece of dark chocolate each day can boost memory and provide the body with essential antioxidants the body can use to fight disease and improve circulation.  Coco chocolate and human health by David L. Kratz indicate the content of cocoa is primarily responsible for its favorable impact on the vascular system blood vessel health and the regulation of nitric oxide production. (2.)

Other positive effects on the cardiovascular system providing anti-inflammatory effects are contributed by compounds found in cocoa polyphenols directly influence insulin resistance in the body can reduce the risk of diabetes.  Since underlying causes of chronic disease such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease includes oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.  Consuming foods rich in polyphenol compounds can benefit your health.

Chocoholics can indulge in a healthy treat with Navis Organics Coco Nibs that are peeled and crumbled cocoa beans and taste like crunchy dark chocolate chips.  They are a great source of iron and magnesium without any sugar added.  Try adding them to yogurt, mixed cereal, oatmeal or coffee to create a sugar free cafe mocha.  Coffee prevents death due to possible health benefits improve longevity and wellness with the winning combination of added chocolate flavorings.

Chocolate is a rich source of iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and flavonols plant chemicals that help protect the heart.  Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate each day to reap the beneficial effects of this amazing food.

Weight Loss Diet Plans

For more information on dieting and weight loss check out Diet Weight Loss Plans a website dedicated to losing weight using the latest health information available.  Tour the whole website to find a diet and fitness program designed for your specific needs.  Sign up for your free gift of Garcinia weight loss supplement while supplies last.

Leave me a comment and be sure to share this post with friends.

Cheers!

Patricia Lynn

 

Resources

The Sweet History of Chocolate

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash,  Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash

 

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About Patricia Lynn 65 Articles
I am the author of How To Lose Belly Fat Guide a blog dedicated to the latest information on weight loss, diet, healthy recipes, fitness and good health.

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