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The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Before we load up on candy hearts and chocolate roses, it might be necessary to have a little refresher on how to snack smart.

Portion control, mindful snacking and choosing the right kinds of treats can go a long way without making us feel like we’re completely indulging or restricting ourselves.

You may have heard that dark chocolate offers nutritional benefits that its white or milk chocolate counterparts do not; this is in fact true!

The cocoa solids in dark chocolate contain flavanols, which reduce inflammation and also boost immunity with antioxidants.

Not sold yet? According to Webmd, research has indicated that dark chocolate may also:

  • Lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • Reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol
  • Improve HDL or “good” cholesterol

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or just any other day, enjoy your flavonols from real cocoa! Just be mindful of your portions, as chocolate still packs a hefty load of calories and fat. Just a small amount of this “sometimes” food will do your health some good.

Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Almond Bark

photo(3)

Makes: 2 dozen 1-inch squares

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips with 60% cacao
  • 1 ½ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup finely shredded coconut, unsweetened, reduced fat

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add the chocolate chips and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  2. Add almonds and coconut and mix.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6 by 10-inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Set in refrigerator for 45 minutes. Use a large knife to cut into 1-inch squares.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 110 Calories, 9 g Fat (3.5 g Sat), 0 mg Cholesterol, 0 mg Sodium, 8 g Carbohydrate, 1.5 g Fiber, 2 g Protein

Source: Webmd.com

Article originally published on the Pathmark Live Better Blog

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