One of the sweetest parts of writing A Recipe for Life had to be the section on dark chocolate and all its incredible health benefits. This mornings beauty section of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting read on dark chocolate’s health AND beauty benefits so of course I had to get the scoop.
Dr. Steven Pratt, a physician at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, discusses why dark chocolate is a super food. Dark chocolate contains nutrients known as flavonoids that can actually relax your blood vessels which lower blood pressure and in turn lower your risk of a heart attack. Sounds like a no brainer to me. Eat dark chocolate and lower your risk of heart disease? One catch is that is it doesn’t take all that much to achieve the effect – only a couple squares of greater than 70% cocoa a few times a week – not a license for eating a whole chocolate bar every day.
The article goes on explain how eating small amounts of dark chocolate provides your body with natural essential fatty acids and “skin-friendly” minerals that can help with decreasing wrinkles and sun damage. It also contains a compound called theobromine which can increase circulation in the skin and reduce cellulite. Sounds a little too good to be true, but what do you have to lose? I think having one or two squares a day of dark chocolate gives me the little treat I need each day. I can forego the extra bread at a restaurant or the cookie at the office as long as I can come home to a good cup of tea and my 2 squares of dark chocolate…and…I’m keeping the doctor away.