Chocolate will be the topic of this week’s article. That’s right, your food, nutrition, and health educator is going to talk about the nutritional benefits of CHOCOLATE! Not all chocolates are created equal (nutritionally that is). Milk chocolate, white chocolate, sweet chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolates all have some nutritional benefits, but dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.
Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree. High quality dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants and minerals. Iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and potassium are vital nutrients that make dark chocolate a healthy snacking option.
Dark chocolate can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure. Also, observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk for the people who consume the most chocolate. Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease.
When purchasing dark chocolate, there are a few things that you should look for to ensure you are purchasing a nutritious version of this sweet treat.
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Extension Educator- Food, Nutrition, and Health
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