Monday, December 1, 2008

A Great Holiday Gift Idea: Yummy Antioxidant Rich Cocoa

I am a frequent consumer of 1800 Flowers products—brightening up someone’s day with flowers has been my specialty for years. Have a birthday coming? My philosophy: Get flowers. Is someone graduating from high school or college? Get flowers. Starting a new job? You got it—get flowers. This year, I want to do something different. Although I love flowers, I thought I’d surprise my friends and family with an even tastier gift—CHOCOLATE.

Now, some people think that “chocolate” is an evil word—especially when one is trying to live a healthy lifestyle. However, here’s a newsflash for you: chocolate can be healthy for you—that’s right, chocolate can be HEALTHY. According to Dark Chocolate can Pack a Big Antioxidant Wallop, small daily quantities of dark chocolate actually contain more antioxidants than red wine, fruits, white and green tea, and veggies. Approximately 1.5 ounces of dark, high cocoa chocolate is rich in B1, B2, D vitamins as well as magnesium and iron. Chocolate is also known to reduce stress and depression, for it stimulates good feelings through the increase of serotonin—the neurotransmitter that produces calm and relaxation. Finally, a few pieces of dark chocolate have as much caffeine as one cup of coffee.

With any other nutritious goody, there are benefits as well as disadvantages. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of incorporating chocolate into your healthy lifestyle:

Do eat small pieces of dark chocolate in order to get a quick bolt of energy—after all, the right dose of chocolate is equivalent to a cup of coffee.

Don’t overindulge. Too much chocolate is high in calories and fat. To be safe, try morsel eating—only eat a small morsel of dark chocolate per day.

Do couple dark chocolate with red wine. Together, these two treats are power-packed with polyphenols and antioxidants. These anti-aging components help to strengthen bones too.

Don’t forget to brush and floss. Although chocolate can be yummy, it can stain and get stuck in between your teeth. Too much chocolate can be a dental nightmare.

Do purchase chocolates as holiday gifts. What an inexpensive, edible and yummy gift idea.

Want to use chocolate in your next dessert recipe? Check out these chocolate recipes from Dark Cherry Chocolate Sauce, Reduced Fat Chocolate Cake, and Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins.


Leroy said...

I love the taste of dark chocolate. Just had a small piece while watching the Ravens beat the heck out Cincy.

Tonya said...

YAY! What brands do you usually eat? And where do you purchase your dark chocolate?

Leroy said...

The brand is Hershey. I am going to start eating only dark chocolate.
I purchase it anywhere I can get it for the right price. I must really pay attention to the the high sugar content.

Anonymous said...

And whether it contains high fructose corn syrup--beware of the corn syrup. LOL.