Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dark Chocolate: It Does A Body Good

In the spirit of this healthy heart of a month I think it’s only appropriate to bring up my favorite topic: chocolate! I don’t discriminate, I savor every kind of this sweet eat but we all know that there is some level of distinction between the different kinds of chocolate. Turns out, the higher the concentration of cacao, the more you will benefit from it health wise. It was milk chocolate all the way for me until a moment of desperation for something sweet gave way to my discovery of the flavorful taste of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients like fiber and protein. This tasty sweet also lowers blood pressure but that doesn't give you the green light to eat all the chocolate you want. Dark chocolate, like all chocolate is high in fat so consume it in moderation. Where are the heart health benefits, you ask? Dark chocolate is infused with heart healthy flavoniods that are exclusively found in this kind of chocolate. Flavoniods keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. A University of California San Francisco study showed that people who ate 1.6 ounces of dark chocolate loaded with epicatechin (a flavoniod only found in plants) a day gained health benefits. After undergoing high-tech evaluation of how well the blood vessels dilate and relax (an indictor of healthy blood vessel function) tests revealed the group who ate the dark chocolate showed high levels of epicatechin coursing through their arteries. That leads to increased blood flow and we all know what that means: good blood flow = good heart. Source

Prepare to crave chocolate because I've got a list of my favorite dark chocolate makers and the fabulous chocolates they create.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Vosges uses the purest ingredients and it doesn't hurt that it's an environmentally conscious chocolatier. These delightful morsels of dark chocolate truffles are fantastic. Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Green and Blacks
These chocolate makers produce wonderful and high-quality organic dark chocolate bars that you can find at your local grocery store. Green and Blacks

Soma Chocolates
Soma chocolates are made of premium cacao and taste splendid.
Soma Chocolatemaker

We all love Godiva chocolates and their dark collection is superb. Godiva

Scharffen Berger
These chocolatiers are famous for their premium chocolate creations and I highly recommend their sumptuous high cacao content dark bars. Scharffen Berger

1 comment:

  1. With all the helpful flavonoids present in dark chocolate that help regulate cholesterol, we must be careful with the amount that we eat. It's also known that dental plaque directly affects our cardiovascular health. So, it means that after a hearty dark chocolate break, it's advisable to immediately brush our teeth. As they say, too much is already bad.