How to Make Chocolate a Healthy Indulgence
Friday, 2 April 2010
Here’s a just-in-time-for-Easter article on the benefits of being a chocolate lover from Health magazine. This ultimate feel-good food, in moderation, can keep your heart healthy, your mood up, and your body in great shape. Read on to find out what all this natural health food can do for you.
Chocotini, anyone? A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate had less of a protein that indicates inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack. A more recent study showed that just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
There’s a good reason we crave chocolate when we’re down. Its tryptophan ups mood-lifting serotonin in the brain. One study found that even the taste, texture, and smell make us happy.
For a spa treat, try this bath from Lauren Cox’s Eco Beauty: Combine 2 cups chocolate milk, 2 tablespoons mild liquid soap, and 1 tablespoon honey; pour mixture into the bathtub. The chocolate milk’s lactic acid and antioxidants smooth and soften your skin.
University of Copenhagen researchers published a study showing that subjects felt fuller and craved fewer sweet, salty, and fatty foods when they snacked on chocolate (yes!). Be sure to choose dark chocolate: Its low glycemic index steadies blood sugar levels, cutting cravings.
And remember, too much of a good thing …
You can learn more about becoming happier and more highly healthy in my book 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy: