The Delicious Benefits of Dark Chocolate

February is known as the month of love. And it often comes chock-full of opportunities (think: rich and delicious heart shaped treats) to forget those New Year’s resolutions we made just a few short weeks ago. The good news is that you don’t have to swear off all the goodies that your sweetheart bestows upon you this month in cokoladna torta order to keep your resolutions intact. In fact, if you swap out your milk and white chocolate confections with dark chocolate goodies, you’re doing your health and yourself a favor.

Did you know?

Dark chocolate lowers high blood pressure

This finding was a result of research conducted by Dirk Taubert, MD, Phd of the University of Cologne in Germany and published in The Journal of American Medical Association. While this doesn’t give you a license to binge on chocolate all day, dark chocolate can have a positive effect on those that are looking to lower or maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Dark chocolate has antioxidants galore.

Antioxidants help ward off heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes. Typically, when you think “antioxidant,” blueberries, dark green veggies, or fish come to mind. However, dark chocolate ranks right up there with all the other superfoods.

Dark Chocolate is good for your heart

A study published in International Journal of Cardiology showed that flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved heart circulation in healthy adults. On the other hand, white chocolate with zero flavonoids had no positive health effects on the subjects.

There you have it! Three healthy reasons to love dark chocolate! As if you needed any. So, don’t feel guilty when you reach for the dark chocolate. Instead, think, “I’m enjoying this treat for my health!”

Limit sugar and refined carbs in your child’s diet

Simple or refined carbohydrates are sugars and refined grains that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients—such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and many breakfast cereals. They cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar and fluctuations in mood and energy. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are usually high in nutrients and fiber and are digested slowly, providing longer-lasting energy. They include whole wheat or multigrain bread, high-fiber cereals, brown rice, beans, nuts, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables.

A child’s body gets all the sugar it needs from that naturally occurring in food. Added sugar just means a lot of empty calories that contribute to hyperactivity, mood disorders, and increase the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even suicidal behaviors in teenagers.