You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging this Valentine’s Day without sharing a delicious chocolate-filled recipe! It’s interesting how love comes hand-in-hand with chocolate, isn’t it? I’m convinced there was some genius behind that relationship, but that’s just me.
Dark chocolate, is not only a delicious indulgence, it is packed with health benefits which makes it even better. The darker, more unprocessed the chocolate, the more benefits it has, so aim for at least 70% to get some of these added perks!
Impressive nutrient profile Before I get into this one, I have to mention that chocolate is chocolate, and although dark chocolate is significantly lower in added sugar, it should still be consumed in moderation (aka 1-2 ounces, or 30-60 grams). Having said that, chocolate that is 70% or darker offers up a healthy dose of fiber, mono-unsaturated fats, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium. Opting for dark chocolate over milk chocolate allows for less sugar, and more nutrients – not to mention a little boost of caffeine.
Powerful source of antioxidants Don’t you just love hearing that? Pure, unprocessed cocoa beans are known to have one of the highest antioxidant profiles, including a rich concentration of polyphenols, catechins, and flavanols.
Heart health Due to the high antioxidant content in pure cocoa, these free radical fighers help to protect agains heart disease by increasing the protective HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol, in turn potentially lowering the risk of heart disease.
Keeps you sharp! As if we needed another reason to love dark chocolate, am I right? Dark chocolate is rich in both flavanols and caffeine. Caffeine, a powerful stimulant can help in increasing blood flow to the brain, allowing you to feel more alert and potentially aid with brain health (in appropriate doses).
So now that we’ve fallen in love with chocolate a little more, why not use our new knowledge in the kitchen?
Dark-Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FRIENDS!