Eat clean day #16 – Flavonoids found in cocoa products, such as dark chocolate, have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects that can help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Eat clean action step:
When going grocery shopping, choose chocolate that is 70% cocoa or higher. Studies show that as little as ½ of an ounce of dark chocolate per day can improve your heart health.
While it is true that chocolate is good for your health, the key is to pick the right type of chocolate. Avoid milk and white chocolate, which is processed and higher in sugars, and choose dark chocolate (70% or higher). In addition to being rich in anti-oxidants, dark chocolate is also a good source of healthy fats, specifically oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil) – making it ideal for heart health.
When it comes to mood and an overall sense of wellness, chocolate certainly offers positive effects. This “happy food” promotes the release of our feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine – helping us to reduce stress and anxiety.
Nutritionally dense, dark chocolate is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, and potassium. In fact, 30g of dark chocolate offers a whopping 10% of our daily required intake for iron!
In addition to dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder (a pure form of dark chocolate) is also a great way to add a chocolaty taste to smoothies, chia seed pudding, and baked goods.
Photo by Erik Putz
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