Special delivery from the Easter bunny
Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Amani Health discusses the benefits of dark chocolate
By Laura Batson, Naturopathic doctor
Easter is just around the corner and so too is the chocolate! But if you want to do your health some good, skip the milk chocolate and opt for the dark variety – at least 70% cacao.
Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids - an antioxidant that benefits your brain, heart, and waistline.
In particular, flavonoids have been shown to:
· regulate blood sugar levels, aiding in weight loss and prevention of diabetes
· aid vascular health and lower blood pressure
· make blood cells less sticky, therefore preventing blood clots and strokes
· improve lipid metabolism, leading to lower cholesterol levels
· improve cognitive function and aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
To get the most out of your chocolate this Easter, read your labels carefully and look for the following: 70-90% organic cacao solids, less than 6 grams of sugar per serving, and avoid artificial flavors like “vanillin,” which is a chemically-produced vanilla flavouring agent.
For a deliciously healthy treat, try Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding.
Add the following ingredients to a food processor, blend, chill for 1 hour, and enjoy!
· 2 ripe avocados
· 4 ounces 70% cacao baking chocolate, melted
· 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1/3 cup coconut or almond milk
· 1/3 cup maple syrup
· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· Pinch of salt
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Kozlowska-Wojciechowska, M., Makarewicz-Wujec, M., & Zieba, K. (2019, Jan). Cardioprotective mechanisms of cocoa. J Am Coll Nutr, 8, 1-12.
Kapgal, V.K., Kutty, B.M., Madhavadas, S., & Subramanian, S. (2016). The neuroprotective effect of dark chocolate in monosodium glutamate-induced nontransgenic Alzheimer disease model rats: Biochemical, behavioral, and histological studies. J Diet Suppl, 13(4), 449-60.
Nehlig, A. (2013, Mar). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 75(3), 716-27.