The media must have chocolate on the brain. No matter where you turn these days, you see another article on the health benefits of chocolate. So how do you cut through the hype? Here are a few tips that might help:
Tip #1 – The Darker the Better: When it comes to the health benefits of chocolate, dark chocolate is the clear winner. The darker the chocolate the greater the cocoa content is. It’s the cocoa, which contains the healthy compounds called flavonols. Flavonols are responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Tip #2 – A Little Goes a Long Way: Eating 1 to 2 ounces a day is the maximum that you need. Most studies saw effects with serving sizes which were no bigger than a postage stamp and no thicker than a stick of gum. This isn’t a case of more is better. In fact, too much chocolate can negate the positive effects.
Tip #3 – Store Your Chocolate in a Cool Place & Don’t Cook with It: Blooming is a technique when the chocolate is melted and re-hardened. Data has shown that this reduces the flavonol content and weakens chocolate’s health benefits. This is why chocolate cookies and desserts don’t seem to provide the same effects. The less processing there is, the better it will be for you.
Tip #4 – Moderation is the Key: As with most everything is life, it is very true here. It’s a fine line between healthy and harmful, so make sure that a health chocolate snack doesn’t turn into a binge.
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