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 Prevention.com: Dark Cherry Chocolate Sauce, Reduced Fat Chocolate Cake, and Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins.