October 30 – Strategy 30 –Not All Chocolate is Created Equal
With Halloween tomorrow, and the holidays fast approaching, tonight’s blog will focus on something unthinkable when discussing tips for good health. Tonight’s blog is about candy, or rather something we have become to think of as candy. Dark chocolate may be sold in the candy aisle of your local supermarket, but it’s not. Dark chocolate is actually plant derived and has benefits similar to its dark vegetable counterparts.
Dark chocolate’s high cocoa content and abundance of flavonoids make it a healthy choice. Dark chocolate bars with a cocoa content of at least 65% are rich in epicatechin. The higher the cocoa content, the better. Epicatechin is an extremely active member of a group of compounds called plant flavonoids. Flavonoids act as antioxidants to prevent free radical damage that can lead to cancer, keep cholesterol from gathering in blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries.
The key is exercising self-control and not over doing it since all chocolate is high in calories. A little bit is enough to reap all the benefits. The best choices are pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other natural flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings as this just adds sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits.
One more tip…when eating dark chocolate, skip the glass of milk. Milk
inhibits antioxidants from being absorbed by your body.
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To see all the tips for prevention, or purchase my book, A Teacher’s Journey…What Breast Cancer Taught Me, go to www.sisters4prevention.com.