Healthy Chocolate?

Happy Valentine’s Day! This day means many things to different people but for most of us, I bet it is the one day we can indulge in chocolate and not feel guilty.

But first why is it that so many people consider themselves chocoholics? The neurotransmitters in our brains act like messengers zipping around the brain telling the body what to do. They influence our moods, affect our energy levels and sleep patterns and can even influence how we think. When we eat chocolate it activates certain brain chemicals which can trigger emotions like euphoria. This is why some people just LOVE chocolate, for the emotional spark.

There’s been much in the news about the health a benefit of chocolate.  But there is definitely a HUGE difference between the commercial chocolate that you see on the shelves while you’re waiting in the check out line at the grocery store and the Healthy organic dark chocolates available to us. Organic dark chocolate has antioxidant properties, which can actually help to protect the body from cellular degeneration. The polyphenols found in dark chocolate may help to lower blood pressure. The flavanoids prevent the excessive clumping of blood platelets that can cause blood clots and protects the lining of our arteries. So over all it’s beneficial to heart health. So appropriate for Valentines Day don’t you think?

Remember that the higher the cocoa content the healthier it is. Rule of thumb, the more bitter the chocolate the healthier it is. When choosing dark chocolate, look for 70% cocoa content or higher.  Enter my new favorite chocolate. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight at 72% Cacao. These tasty treats are only 55 calories a square. This is a great “go to” sweet treat that is virtually guilt free. And who could resist after reading this description on their website: “The luxuriously deep and velvety chocolate delivers a moment of unrivaled chocolate intensity.”

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