Eat chocolate – for your health!

Written by Meghan, Healthy Living Expert on Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Think eating healthy means eschewing your favorite foods? If one of your favorite foods is chocolate, then you can indulge without guilt. In case you haven’t heard, chocolate is good for you!

Yes, you read that right! Chocolate, and particularly dark chocolate, can have powerful health benefits when eaten in moderation. This is what researchers are saying about how dark chocolate can boost your wellbeing:

  • If you have mild high blood pressure, dark chocolate may help you lower it .
  • Dark chocolate may also help you reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels.
  • It contains a variety of healthy components , including vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as iron and other minerals.
  • If you’re someone who turns to chocolate in times of sadness, you already know the power of dark chocolate in improving your mood.
  • Dark chocolates high in flavanols can even help protect your skin from sun damage and harmful UV rays!

So how can you enjoy dark chocolate this season? Here are some simple ways to indulge.

  • Nibble on dark chocolate by itself. It’s harder to overindulge on dark chocolate than on other treats because it is both rich and slightly bitter. Try one square or an individually packaged piece after dinner or as an afternoon snack.
  • Chop dark chocolate into small pieces and melt in a saucepan with milk to make a cup of hot chocolate. This is a great way to heat up as the weather gets cold – and get some delicious vitamins from the chocolate and added protein from the milk.
  • Make chocolate bark! Melt dark chocolate and pour it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle chopped pistachios, dried apricots, and dried cranberries (or your favorite nuts and dried fruits). Place in your refrigerator to harden.
  • Throw together some easy – yet oh-so-luxurious – dark chocolate truffles for a delicious, simple treat. Make sure to choose dark chocolate cocoa powder to reap all the nutritional benefits!

One key to reaping the benefits of dark chocolate is eating it in moderation. Even though it comes with many health benefits, dark chocolate should still be treated as an indulgence. While you may be focused on your current health needs, remember to also think about your long-term health needs. If you have questions about how you can afford long-term care, reach out to Paying for Senior Care. Our long-term care expert can help you better understand how to plan for your future needs!