I’m so excited about my new book, Give Me Some Chocolate…I’m Stressed! The last chapter details health benefits of eating dark chocolate, describes how it reduces stress, and lists many of my favorite high-quality dark chocolates. I’m starting a YouTube and blog series highlighting benefits of those favorite chocolates. Vosges Chocolates is the first to be highlighted, and it was delicious!
The first benefit I want to share in this series is that of heart health. Evidence is building that products of the cacao plant, especially dark chocolate, can be good for your heart. Dark chocolate, in its rarest form, without the added saturated fats and sugar, will benefit your heart in many ways. Poulina Uddin, MD, a cardiologist at Scripps Clinic, says, “Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate regularly can benefit your health.” She emphasized that moderation is a key and continued, “Dark chocolate, like other chocolates, is still high in calories and can lead to weight gain. But in small amounts it can fit into a well-balanced diet.”
The darker the dark chocolate, the better. Eating 65-70% cacao produces those health benefits. In fact, Dr. Uddin said, “Percentage of cocoa is important and stick with minimally processed dark chocolate bars that are at least 70 percent cocoa to obtain the most flavonols. But again, moderation is key and make sure to limit your portions.”
According to webmd.com, phytonutrients like flavonoids have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects and protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease. These dietary antioxidants can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
A 2017 study found that eating raw almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa may help reduce the risk of coronary disease. The study in the Journal of American Heart Association found that this combination significantly reduced the number of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) — which are often called “bad cholesterol” due to the role they play in clogging arteries.
There was an interesting study published in 2005 in which people were given about 3½ ounces of either dark chocolate or white chocolate to eat every day for 15 days. Those who got the dark chocolate lowered their “bad” LDL cholesterol—the type that clogs arteries and slows the flow of blood—by about 12% (Cleveland Heart Lab, September 17, 2018).
What a great start on “Stress and Dark Chocolate”! To order my new book, Give Me Some Chocolate…I’m Stressed! go to www.DesiPayne.com/shop and check out all of Vosges products at VosgesChocolates.com.
Your Stress Less Coach