Hearts and Chocolate, Oh My!

What’s your favorite dark chocolate? Dark Chocolate’s been seen as a much “Heart Healthier” choice than light or milk chocolates.  I love dark chocolates. I’m hoping in my travels I’ll get my chance to try different dark chocolates from around the world.

Why Heart Healthy? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids. What are Flavonoids? Flavonoids by definition help protect plants by shielding and masking them from environmental toxins and helping repair damage. When we consume plant-based foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this “antioxidant” power.  We’ve all heard the word Antioxidant.  It seems it’s become a buzzword for heart healthy eating.  Antioxidants seem to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes such as breathing and from environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke. I hate smoking and second hand smoke! When the body lacks adequate levels of antioxidants, damage from free radicals occurs and leads to increases in LDL (“bad)-cholesterol oxidation (oxidized LDL-cholesterol hurts the arteries) and plaque formation on the walls of the arteries.

Now, before we all go out and substitute a big dark chocolate candy bar for fresh broccoli, remember that “Moderation” is the key.  Small amounts, a square if you will, should do the trick. Dark chocolate tends to be high in calories.

I’m still waiting for the fat free, calorie free dark chocolate bar:) – Keith

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