Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’

My Day At the Dark Chocolate Factory

Sunday, April 26th, 2015
The Dandelion Chocolate sales locations offer samples of their single-source bars

The Dandelion Chocolate sales locations offer samples of their single-source bars

Sorting, Sniffing, and Tasting Are All Part of the Job of Making Intense Dark Chocolate Bars

Chocolate has always been one of my favorite foods. An allergy to chocolate in childhood was tough for me, and I could sneak only occasional bites. This sensitivity persisted, punishing me with a rash, a severe cough, and/or an excruciating headache if I dared eat chocolate even as an adult.

Happily, when I got rid of all the animal foods in my diet, I discovered I had never been allergic to chocolate at all. I had been allergic to the combination of chocolate made with milk. I could eat as much vegan dark chocolate as I wanted with no allergy symptoms.

While dark chocolate can be healthy, the amount you need to eat for health benefits is small – one to three ounces a week will do it. Eat too much, and you’re liable to (more…)

How To Make Dark Chocolate Part of a Healthy Diet

Sunday, February 8th, 2015
The cocoa powder is low in calories and fat but high in beneficial nutrients. The dark chocolate also has the nutrients, but is much denser in fat and calories.

The cocoa powder is low in calories and fat but high in beneficial nutrients. The dark chocolate also has the nutrients, but is much denser in fat and calories

Seven Tips To Do It Right

Compelling scientific findings, published in peer reviewed medical journals, show significant health benefits for dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Here are the major ways that chocolate helps you avoid chronic illness.

Cardiovascular disease

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder help the inner walls of your arteries function better. As a result of this and more beneficial effects, these chocolate foods:

• Lower blood pressure
• Make blood clots less likely to form in your arteries
• Reduce the risk of (more…)

Dark Chocolate: The Solution to Mondays

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

It’s True – Something this Good Can Also Be Healthy

Okay, healthy in moderation only, but who wants to quibble. Let’s not dissect our chocolate. This incredible food, in its most unprocessed forms, contains over 350 biologically active compounds. As in all whole foods, the total effect is greater than the sum of the parts.

Theobromine, one of the best known chocolate constituents, is a mood enhancer and mild stimulant. Flavonoids are plant chemicals, strongly represented in chocolate, with numerous beneficial effects:

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Help balance inflammation
  • Protect the circulatory system and help prevent blood clots

None of these benefits have much to do with why I start my week with a large chunk of dark chocolate. On Mondays, the week seems endless. The weekend, already past, beckons strongly. A bit of pampering is irresistible. The health benefits are only a nice add-on.

So first thing Monday morning, I breakfast on whole grain cereal topped with fruit and two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds. This is my usual fast weekday breakfast. The Monday difference is using chocolate soy milk, not the usual vanilla, over the cereal.

About 9:30 or 10 am, it’s time for another dose – this time half a dark chocolate bar. My favorite way to relish this Monday chocolate is in small

Dark chocolate bar - don't settle for less

Dark chocolate bar - don't settle for less

pieces, dipped into some soy yogurt stirred with nuts. I love everything about this hard dark chocolate: the aroma, the taste, the texture, how it makes me feel. I sniff my chocolate deeply before consuming. Anyone walking by might wonder what I was up to.

After finishing the chocolate, I still have a bit of soy yogurt and nuts to enjoy. Hot green tea is the last necessity of this weekly ritual. The rest of Monday just streams away, and soon the rest of the week as well.

Half of a 3.5 ounce chocolate bar is enough for the desired effect. My favorite is Equal Exchange Chocolates, mint flavor, which is both organic and fair trade. This delightful product is 67% cacao, which means that chocolate is the main ingredient.

Dark chocolate is REAL chocolate. The milk version, aside from the issues with dairy foods, dilutes the chocolate, making it almost flavorless compared to the real thing. Also, be aware that Dutch processed chocolate, in order to remove this food’s bitter edge, also strips many of the beneficial chocolate components.

Learn to love slightly bitter chocolate – you’ll get used to this flavor faster than you think. There’s no pay-off in tricking your body with common candy bars that have more milk, sugar, and chemicals than they do chocolate.

Dark chocolate is gourmet on a budget, feel-good without later mood crash, circulatory enhancer without prescription cost or side effects. Read the label to eliminate brands with milk or butter. Have fun trying all the others – new possibilities grace store shelves as more and more people discover dark chocolate as the best occasional junk food treat.

You actually will benefit from and enjoy dark chocolate most when you choose moderate amounts. Half a bar a week – any day you’d like – should be enough to reward yourself without gaining weight. Okay, maybe twice a week, but then treat yourself with other whole foods instead….

Intrigued? Now you can use our Whole Foods Blog Finder to target informative, fun postings on plant-based nutrition. Quick information at no cost!

Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, the smart person’s nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.