Once again, this superfood contains antioxidants that protect against free radicals that cause cell damage, lead to cancer or speed up the aging process. Dark, not milk, chocolate is also good for your cognitive functioning because it increases blood flow to the brain and causes your brain to release endorphins, making you happier. It also reduces insulin resistance, helping to regulate blood sugar. The high content of iron, potassium, and magnesium prevent high blood pressure, anemia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease from occurring, as well. Just by consuming 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder you are receiving 3 to 9 percent of the daily recommended intake of manganese, iron, magnesium, and zinc. In addition this this, cocoa contains flavenoids, which prevent systemic inflammation.
At the Market
Be sure to purchase dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. The less sugar, the better.
In the Kitchen
-Substitute milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips in your favorite baking recipes.
-Keep in mind that milk blocks the beneficial effects of the bio-flavenoids in cocoa, so avoid mixing cocoa with milk.
-Experiment with dark cocoa powder by adding it to tomato sauce, homemade bread recipes, prepared salad dressings, or mixing it with other spices.
-Use unsweetened cocoa powder in chilis, gravy, protein shakes or smoothies, and hot cereal.
My Go-To Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
2 Frozen Bananas
1.5c Almond Milk
1/4c Peanut Butter
1.5tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if needed. Makes two 16oz servings.
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe when you need a “chocolate fix”?