Saturday, July 28, 2012

LATE FOR THE ANTIOXIDANT TRAIN, AS USUAL!



First it was antioxidant juicing, and now chocolate! Is there anything else I'll be last in line for? Probably lots. So, chocolate. Who doesn't love it, right? Some are addicted to it. Me: after childhood, it was a take it or leave it sort of thing. Not that I want to minimize my childhood chocolate feasts. 


Mom loved Nestle's Crunch and we always had a pound bar in the house for family snacking. Bittersweet chocolate? Don't remember seeing it. Oh, there was unsweetened chocolate, but that was for baking. When I lived in Europe ages ago I expanded my taste beyond Crunch to the local commercial brands: Droste, Cadbury and Toblerone. Nothing high-end, for sure. 


And then years passed with chocolate totally out of the picture, replaced by rice cakes, popcorn and pretzels for snacking, until now, when, funnily enough, chocolate has returned, but  I am treating it like a vitamin pill! Nothing much taste-wise, but super-good for you. 
Initially, when I heard chocolate might actually be healthy, I envisioned purchasing a pound of milk chocolate and breaking off a hunk whenever the mood hit me, but, sadly, it is only dark chocolate, and preferably the darkest, that works its antioxidantal magic, according to WebMD.  Be sure not to eat it with a glass of milk (tempting!) or its free-radical-fighting power will be lessened.

One of the best things dark chocolate does for your health is to lower blood pressure, reducing heart disease and stroke risk. Some studies have shown it benefits memory, too. The percentage of cacao in the chocolate should be above 30% for the best results. Do you have a favorite brand of dark chocolate? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

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