As you know, eating chocolate helps release endorphins which create a mood high and research shows that the body develops a physical dependency for experiencing this feeling. The desire to consume chocolate again and again under any circumstances is definitely an addiction to chocolate.
You do not need to give up your love for chocolate. I am talking about eating the right kind of chocolate which contains almost 70 percent cocoa and is referred to as high-quality dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is filled with healthy benefits such as flavonoids, which maintains cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of cancer. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants which are essential for a strong immune system.
The various benefits that it offers are listed below.
· Reduce your risk of stroke: Research suggests that dark chocolate helps circulation of the blood from and to the heart due to the presence of the compound flavonoid. It does so by keeping the blood vessels flexible instead of becoming stiffer over time. It also doesn’t let the blood cells to stick to the inner walls of the vessels, which would otherwise build up and cause blockage of the vessels.
· Diabetes Prevention: Dark chocolate helps to prevent diabetes as well. Research has shown that one of the major causes of diabetes in your body is inflammation which increases our resistance to insulin as time passes. Dark chocolate helps your body to prevent diabetes by reducing resistance against the body’s natural insulin.
· Improve the Functionality of Brain: Studies suggest that students who eat dark chocolate before an exam perform better compared to the other students. The compounds found in dark increase the flow of blood to the brain which enhances memory, attention span, problem solving skills and reaction time. It also boosts the production of the chemical endorphin which is known to make you feel happy and boost your mind.
· Cancer Prevention: Research has also shown that the compound flavonoid found in dark chocolate or cocoa helps to prevent cell damage and even has the ability to repair damaged cells and inhibits the growth of tumors. A research was conducted at Georgetown University to treat cancerous cells with the help of the Pentamer compound found in cocoa. It actually helps the cells stop dividing by suppressing the proteins they needed to divide.
· Weight Loss: If you eat dark chocolate before having lunch or dinner, you would definitely eat far less. The chemicals in the chocolate trigger the hormones in your body that make you feel full and you eat less as a result.
Other kinds of chocolates contain added chemicals and more sugars which are highly. White chocolate is technically not even considered chocolate however sad it may sound, as it doesn’t contain cocoa. Try to avoid white chocolate because its basic ingredients are sugar, cocoa butter, soy, milk, lecithin and added flavors which result in it being loaded with sugar and saturated fat.
Choosing dark chocolate is helpful as it has much less sugar and is rich in cocoa. You can get the maximum benefit of dark chocolate by using our favorite recipesto maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Here are the 5 Healthy Chocolate Recipes:
Chocolate Cherry Superfood Balls
Makes about 12 medium-sized cookies
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup brazil nuts
- 8 dates
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup dried coconut
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- hemp or sesame seeds (optional, to roll balls in)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. You want everything to be combined, yet not fully blended. Some chunks are nice! Form into small balls and either keep as is, or roll in hemp or sesame seeds.
Vegan Chocolate Milkshake
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
- 4 dates
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of cayenne or ginger for some zing (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend and enjoy!
The “CAB” (Chocolate Almond Banana) Bowl
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups cooked millet
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
- 1 banana, chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
Combine millet with water in a saucepan. Heat on high until boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add in almond milk, raw cacao and stevia, stir to combine. Place in a bowl and top with almond butter and banana.
Chocolate and Kale Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut, hemp, or almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup of kale
- 3 tablespoons of cacao nibs
- 1 tablespoon of raw cacao
- 5 to 6 ice cubes
Blend in a high-powered blender.
Dairy Free Hot Cocoa
- 1 cup of coconut or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
- Few shakes cinnamon
- Stevia or honey to taste
Heat the coconut or almond milk over medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder, sprinkle cinnamon and sweeten with stevia or honey if you desire.
These recipes will help you be a healthy chocoholic.
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