Week 5 – Day 2

CHOCOLATE – – Mmmmm!

My favorite type of chocolate is very dark – in fact, brand wise I prefer Lindt 85% Cocoa. It’s not a sweet chocolate by any means, but to me, it’s one of the most flavourful one.

According to allchocolate.com: Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants.

In short-term clinical trials, dark chocolate has reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow, showed mild anti-clotting effects and may help prevent plaque formation in arteries. Read about the research on chocolate and your heart.

Dark chocolate as an essential mineral source

COPPER – One average dark chocolate bar has 14 percent of the daily requirement for copper, a critical mineral that aids in the absorption of iron and is a key component of enzymes that form skin-strengthening collagen. An unsweetened baking chocolate bar delivers a whopping 22.5 percent of the daily requirement. Copper also is critical to heart health. During the early stages of development a diet low in copper can result in cardiovascular abnormalities and later on in life can contribute to the development of vascular disease.

MAGNESIUM – One average dark chocolate bar can deliver nearly 12 percent of your daily magnesium requirement. Studies show magnesium may help reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes

POTASSIUM – Cocoa and chocolate are natural sources of potassium, which studies have shown to be a key factor in affecting blood-pressure and stroke. The more potassium present in the body, the less likelihood of developing high blood pressure or stroke, the studies show

IRON – On average, a dark chocolate bar has nearly 7 percent of the required daily allowance. An average unsweetened baking chocolate bar packs in 13.3 percent of the daily requirement. Some specific brands of chocolate even have higher iron contents. The main function of iron is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs.

This is a no-brainer for me, but I recognize that I must ingest this in SMALL quantities!