Thursday, October 4, 2007
Dark Chocolate Hershey Kisses that is!
Go ahead - enjoy! You don't have to feel guilty endulging in a little chocolate. Cocoa and chocolate contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients. They also have proven to be beneficial to your cardiovascular system, kidney function, brain health, and immune system. Also, if you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, you may benefit from eating chocoate and cocoa as well.
Cocoa beans contain the antioxidant flavanols that protect against harmful free radicals. True, they are not the only food that provides these antioxidants - apples, berries, beans, nuts, red grapes, red wine and tea are other good sources. But, chocolate, aside from being the most delicious of the options, offers the most antioxidant power.
Cocoa and chocolate can also lower LDL/bad cholesterol and raise HDL/good cholesterol by limiting the build up of plaques in arteries. It also promotes healthy blood flow by making blood platelets stick less. Other health benefits include reducing blood pressure for those with high blood pressure, helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels, increasing blood flow in the brain, and keeping skin healthy.
*The best sources are non-alkalized or lightly alkalized cocoas, dutched cocoa, natural cocoa, or dark chocolate with at least 40% cocoa.
*Eat a variety of antioxidant rich foods and eat chocolate in moderation, keeping its fat, sugar and colories in mind.
*Try Fair Trade products which ensure that the producers earn fair wages so that their workers are paid and their children can be sent to school. It also guarantees that no child labor was used.