Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



In honor of this week having 2 decadent filled days, Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to write about one of the most decadent things in the world…CHOCOLATE!!

You may be thinking…”Delia….what? chocolate isn’t healthy!?” Well, I am here to tell you that chocolate DOES have some healthy qualities…but with everything that is considered decadent….MODERATION is the key!

Chocolate has compounds called FLAVONOIDS. Doctors say that consumption of flavonoid-rich foods reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses like cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. Flavonoids act as antioxidants, which help the bodies defense against those FREE RADICALS that I mentioned in last week’s blog. Free Radicals damage your body’s cells, including DNA cells, and that is thought to have a key role in the ageing process.

Now, many studies have shown that DARK CHOCOLATE is the healthiest of all chocolate. The less processed the cocoa is, the healthier….so don’t go for the milk chocolate because it has nowhere near the health benefits as dark chocolate does.
Reasons to eat Chocolate:
*Lowers your blood pressure
*Lowers your LDL or bad cholesterol
*Prevents tooth decay—no kidding! Theobromine found in chocolate helps eliminate streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the mouth that contributes to tooth decay!
*It is high in magnesium which helps regulate the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular systems
*Improves memory and nitric oxide in the blood which helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow

NOW, my favorite reason to eat chocolate….and this is helpful to know, since Valentine’s day is tomorrow and maybe you don’t have anyone to kiss…or maybe you do… either way this is good to know--Chocolate actually stimulates endorphin production, which creates feelings of happiness and pleasure. In fact, one study found that chocolate melting in your mouth actually produced feelings of pleasure for a longer period of time than passionate kissing did!!  Hmmmm, perhaps I will conduct my own study.

How much dark chocolate should you eat? You have to keep in mind, chocolate is calorie rich and certainly not as good for you as those veggies you know I love! So, doctors recommend 6 grams of dark chocolate per day or one small square, which gives you the benefits of chocolate without doing any harm.

Have a Healthy Week!

-Delia

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

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