Do you love a good piece of chocolate? While milk chocolate is fine to enjoy occasionally, it tends to be higher in sugar and fat. However, there may be some great benefits to adding a bit of dark chocolate to your diet a few times a week. To get the benefits, the chocolate needs to have a cocoa percentage of around 65-80%.
While dark chocolate is a product higher in calories and fat, it also contains the following important nutrients:
- Fiber – normal digestion and managing blood sugars.
- Iron – delivers oxygen throughout the body and maintains hair, skin, and nails.
- Magnesium – important for nerve and muscle function, a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong.
- Copper – may help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
- Manganese – supports bone health, is an antioxidant, and plays a part in blood sugar regulation.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which protect against cell damage from a variety of sources, such as inflammation, pollution, and exposure to other chemicals; and eating processed or refined foods, trans fat, and artificial additives. This form of chocolate, along with other antioxidant rich foods (like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and green tea) may help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues and lowering cholesterol.
Remember – even with these benefits, it is still essential to practice portion control with dark chocolate and maintain an overall balanced eating plan with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Try this amazing Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Coffee recipe that’s perfect for entertaining or to have on a cold winter’s day!