Who doesn’t love hearing that chocolate is good for us, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner? But don’t run out for that giant heart-shaped box of chocolates just yet. Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 5 proven health benefits of chocolate – plus what to look for on labels to be sure you’re really getting these benefits, not a hefty dose of sugar!
5 proven benefits of dark chocolate:
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Enhanced brain function
- Lower stress levels
What to look for:
- Products containing at least 70% cocoa
- Cocoa is one of top sources of antioxidant-rich flavonols – but the more processed the cocoa, the lower the flavonol content
5 Dark Chocolate Finds (Each of the following servings has ~200-250 mg flavonols):
- Chocolate bar made with at least 70% cocoa (2 ounces: 300 calories & 35 grams sugar)
Tip: Look for dark chocolate with “cocoa” or “cocoa liquor” as the first ingredient listed, not sugar
- Unsweetened bakers chocolate (1/2 ounce: 70 calories & 0 sugar)
RECIPE: Chocolate-Dipped Fruit Fondue: Melt one unsweetened bakers chocolate bar + one tablespoon Swerve Sugar Replacer in a mini slow cooker. Dip with fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) and serve.
- Cacao nibs (1 ounce: 130 calories, 0 sugar, 9 grams fiber)
- Cocoa powder (2 tbsp: 20 calories & 0 sugar)
- CocoaVia (1 packet: 25-30 calories, 0 added sugar)
CocoaVia, with 250 mg of flavonols per serving. CocoaVia is available in capsule form or as a chocolate-flavored powder in stick packs that can be added to coffee, milk, or smoothies.