Thank you, dark chocolate, for making us feel good—not guilty—about dessert. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.It may also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, according to a study from Denmark. Researchers gave 16 participants 100 g of either dark or milk chocolate and 2 hours later offered them pizza. Those who consumed the dark chocolate ate 15% fewer calories than those who had milk chocolate, and they were less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Try a chocolate with 70% or more cocoa. Two tablespoons of dark chocolate chips with fresh berries as a midafternoon snack or after-dinner dessert should give you some of the heart-healthy benefits without busting your calorie budget.
More Healthy Eating Ideas
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Satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth with cacao nibs to get the benefits of chocolate without the drawbacks.
CUCKOO FOR CHOCOLATE
We all want to believe that chocolate is super healthy (think about those antioxidants!), but in truth, the butter and sugar usually outweigh any real health benefits. Get the antioxidants without the calories by sprinkling dry-roasted cacao beans, or cacao nibs, on a smoothie or bowl of yogurt.
Compounds in dark chocolate can help protect skin from damaging solar rays.
Indulge a sweet tooth moderately with these healthier treats.
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UNDER ARMOUR FITNESS TRACKER
Good Morning All... hope you slept well & here is a yummy coffee for you. I actually was brought a cup of hot chocolate in bed, so I'm all happy :) lol.... its true, chocolate is a wonderful way to start the day :))) I'll be on and off the computer today, so RANDOM ART for my art store coming up RANDOMLY... ENJOY!!!
If drinking, grab a glass of red wine to load up on health-boosting antioxidants (moderation is key)!
RED, RED WINE
Get out the Chianti tonight — drinking red wine in moderation can reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and can even increase life span. Full-bodied reds are loaded with antioxidants called resveratrol and proanthocyanidin that can have important health benefits. Dark wines (made with grapes with thick skins) like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are especially rich in antioxidants. If red wine isn’t your style, get similar health benefits from white wine or even purple grape juice (though careful of those sugars!).
Pairing booze with diet soda can make you drunker than when using other mixers.
Not into the vino? Brew up some tea for antioxidants without the risk of intoxication.
PESTO QUINOA SALAD
IS CHOCOLATE ACTUALLY HEALTHY?
- Red wine: A drink to your heart. Saleem, T.S., Basha, S.D. Department of Pharmacology, Annamacharya College of Pharmacy, new Boyanapalli, Rajampet, Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2010 Oct;1(4):171-6. [↩]
- Grape seed and red wine polyphenol extracts inhibit cellular cholesterol uptake, cell proliferation, and 5-lipoxgenase activity. Leifert, W.R., Abeywardena, M.Y. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide BC, Australia. Nutrition Research, 2008 Dec;28(12):842-50. [↩]
- Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol. Erlund, I., Koli, R., Alfthan, G., et al. Biomarker Laboratory, Department of Health and Functional Capacity, Nutrition Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008 Feb;87(2):323-31. [↩]
- Moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular disease risk: beyond the “French paradox”. Lippi, G., Franchini, M., Favaloro, E.J., et al. Diagnostica Ematochimica, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Italy. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 2010 Feb; 36(1):59-70. [↩]
- Alcohol consumption raises HDL cholesterol levels by increasing the transport rate of apolipoproteins A-I and A-II. De Oliveira, E., Silva, ER., Foster, D., et al. Rockefeller University New York, NY. Circulation, 2000 Nov 7;102(19):2347-52. [↩]
- Protection against recurrent stroke with resveratrol: endothelial protection. Clark, D., Tuor, UI., Thompson, R., et al. Department of Physiology, Clinical Neurosciences and Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. PLoS One, 2012;7(10:e47792. [↩]
- Resveratrol protects against experimental stroke: putative neuroprotective role of heme oxygenase 1. Sakata, Y., Zhuang, H., Kwansa, H., et al. Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore , MD. Experimental Neurology, 2010 Jul;224(1):325-9 [↩]
- Red and White Wines Inhibit Cholesterol Oxidation Induced by Free Radicals. Tian, L., Wang, H., Abdallah, A.M., et al. College of Enology, Northwest A&F University, China. Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry 2011 May. [↩]
- Wine and polyphenols related to platelet aggregation and atherothrombosis. Ruf, J.C. Nutrition and Health Unit, International Wine and Vine Office, Paris, France. Drugs Under Experimental Clinical Research 1999;25(2-3):125-31. [↩]
- Potential health benefits from the flavonoids in grape products on vascular disease. Folts, J.D. Coronary Thrombosis Research Laboratory, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison 53792-3248, USA. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology 2002;505:95-111. [↩]
- Type of wine and risk of lung cancer: a case-control study in Spain. Ruano-Ravina, A., Figueiras, A., Barros-Dios, J.M. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Thorax 2004 Nov;59(11):981-5. [↩]
- Does white wine qualify for French paradox? Comparison of the cardioprotective effects of red and white wines and their constituents: resveratrol, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol. Dudley, J.I., Lekli, I., Mukherjee, S., et al. Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut 06030-1110, USA. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2008 Oct;56(20):9362-73. [↩]
- Antioxidant capacities and phenolics levels of French wines from different varieties and vintages. Landrault, N., Poucheret, P., Ravel, P., et al. Département d’Oenologie and Laboratoire de Pharmacologie, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Montpellier I, France. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2001 Jul;49(7):3341-8. [↩]
by Aylin Erman · 2 days ago · Health
Chocolate is often touted as a naughty, bad-for-you, eat-only-on-occasion kind of food. But, is it really that bad? While a mouth full of fudge can’t help but make us smile, the health benefits are a little trickier. While the delicious dessert may be packed with antioxidants, the high sugar content of most processed bars offsets many of those benefits. But worry not: There’s a way to have your (chocolate) cake and eat it too.
Chocolate Cheat Sheet — Why It Matters
Cacao, the base of chocolate, can be a healthy addition to most diets. In its natural form, cacao can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and reduce the risk for diabetes and coronary heart disease. And don’t forget the brain: A bit of dark chocolate can give our thinking skills regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
A lot of these health benefits have to do with chocolate’s stock of flavonoids ((Flavan-3-ol-enriched dark chocolate and white chocolate improve acute measures of platelet function in a gender-specific way-a randomized-controlled human intervention trial. Ostertag, L.M., Kroon, P.A., Wood, S. et al. Rowett Institue of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, UK, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2013 Feb;57(2):191-202.)). These plant-based compounds protect the body by fighting the effects of free radicals a nasty set of atoms or molecules in our bodies that contribute to annoying problems like premature aging and a number of diseases including some types of cancer, asthma, and diabetes. But don’t get chocolate wasted just yet: Some less-than-desirable health effects may be lurking at the bottom of that bag of M&Ms.
The Bitter(sweet) Truth — The Answer/DebateExtensive processing, as well as added sugar and milk, often strip cacao of its nutritional one-two punch, causing a potential superfood rockstar to drop to a fallen idol status. Luckily, healthy options exist, giving chocolate a chance to redeem itself. When there’s a choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate, go dark. Whole milk makes up the majority of milk chocolate and may interfere with the body’s absorption of antioxidants ((Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide: a randomized control trial. Taubert, D., Roesen, R., Lehmann, C. Department of Pharmacology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007 Jul 4;298(1):49-60.)). To stave off added fat and excess sugar, look for dark chocolate with a cacao content above 70 percent. In fact, the higher the cacao content, the better. But be warned: Dark chocolate tends to taste more bitter than its milky counterpart, so if choosing super-dark varities, opt for bars with some healthy add-ins like almonds or dried cherries for a flavor (and nutrition) boost.
Another chocolate worth going cuckoo for is raw chocolate, a dairy-free, unprocessed option. Raw chocolate bars are often sweetened with agave or palm sugar, which have a lower glycemic index than cane sugar. Raw chocolate packs a distinct, deep flavor paired with a ruthless stab at the wallet, but luckily, a little goes a long way. Look for raw chocolate at local health food stores in bar or powder form. Heat the powder with water or almond milk, and sweeten with stevia for some homemade hot chocolate.
To get the benefits of cacao without the bulk, reach for cacao nibs, dry-roasted cacao beans with a nutty flavor. Try sprinkling the nibs on top of a dessert or add them to a smoothie for a little extra kick. At the end of the day, even the most nutritious kinds of chocolate are healthful … but in moderation!
Our Favorite Chocolate Recipes from Around the Web:
Chocolate Chai Sandwich Cookies via NPR
Coconut and Cacao Nibs Pancakes via The Healthy Foodie
Vegan Chocolate Pudding via One Green Planet
Chilled Double Chocolate Torte via OhSheGlows
Granola Bars with Chocolate via The New York Times
Raw Brownies with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting via Choosing Raw
Have a favorite chocolate recipe? Share your recipes in the comments section below!
Originally posted May 11, 2011. Updated February, 2013.
- Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. D., Katz, Doughty K, Ali A. Yale University Prevention Research Center, Derby, Connecticut. Antioxidants & redox signaling, 2011 Apr 7. [↩]
- Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Katz, D.L., Doughty, K., Ali, A. Yale University Prevention Research Center, Griffin Hospital, Derby, Connecticut. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 2011;15(10):2779-811. [↩]
- Cocoa, blood pressure, and vascular function. Sudano, I., Flammer, A.J., Roas, S., et al. Current Hypertension Reports 2012;14(4):279-84. [↩]
- Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavon-3-ols on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Hooper, L. Kay, C., Abelhamid, A., et al. Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012;95(3):740-51. [↩]
- Everyday Eating Experiences of Chocolate and Non-Chocolate Snacks Impact Postprandial Anxiety, Energy and Emotional States. Martin, F., J., Antille, N., Rezzi, S., et al. BioAnalytical Science, Nestle Research Center, Nestec Ltd., Switzerland. Nutrientes, 2012 June; 4(6):554-567. [↩]
- Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. Steinberg, F.M., Bearden, M.M., Keen, C.L. Didactic Program in Dietetics, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2003;103(2):215-23. [↩]
- The role of free radicals in disease. Florence, T.M. Centre for Environmental and Health Science Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology, 1995 Feb;23(1):3-7. [↩]
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Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies Recipe
An ode to my favorite baked good of all time, the fudgy brownie,
this cookie has a healthy salt content and, to me, is perfection. I freeze a few
of these in the dense heat of a New York summer for my lunch or afternoon snack.
cup cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoons butter, melted
tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2
teaspoon vanilla extract
ounces 55-percent chocolate, melted
- 1 1/4
cup cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4
teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt
in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low
speed until mixed.
Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture
starts to come together in small clusters.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread the
clusters on the pan, and bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally.
The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will
dry and harden as they cool.
Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or
eating. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room
temperature or 1 month in the refrigerator or freezer.
Combine the butter, sugar, and glucose in the bowl of a stand
mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for
2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, vanilla, and melted
chocolate, and beat for 7-8 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, cocoa
powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes
together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during
this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the
bowl with a spatula. Still on low speed, add the chocolate crumbs and mix just
until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice
cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto the pan. Pat the
tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies
from room temperature — they will not bake properly.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with
parchment paper or a Silpat.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on the
sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread.
It's tough (kind of impossible) to gauge if a cookie that is this dark with
chocolate is done. If after 18 minutes, the cookies still seem doughy in the
center, give them another minute in the oven, but not more.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before
transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room
temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will
keep for 1 month.
Adapted from "Momofuku Milk
Bar" by Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter,
Read more: http://www.thedailymeal.com/chocolate-chocolate-cookies#ixzz2FxSH1J9J