They say that chocolate is a vegetable. Whether that’s believable or not, it’s true that it comes from the Cacao tree which grows in rain forests. America’s favorite flavor is chocolate. It is used in so many foods, especially desserts, it’s simply amazing! For all chocolate lovers out there, Chocolate Day is a good excuse to eat all those chocolate treats that you have been avoiding all year.
What are some of America’s favorite ways to enjoy chocolate?
- Chocolate candy bars
- Chocolate cream-filled donuts
- Hot chocolate
- Chocolate cake
- Chocolate pudding
- Chocolate flavored coffee
- Chocolate cake
- Chocolate ice cream
- Christmas chocolates
- Chocolate-flavored breakfast cereal
- Chocolate-dipped granola bars
There are even some health benefits from eating chocolate!
If your loved family member or their elderly home care provider are wondering if it’s really that healthy to be eating chocolate all day on this one day of the year, maybe you can share these well-known and not so well-known health benefits of chocolate:
- Swedish and German studies have found that a small amount of dark chocolate daily or several weekly contributed significantly to lowering blood pressure and even reduced the risk of stroke and heart attack by a whopping 39%!
- Chocolate contains flavonoids, which help keep elasticity and flexibility in the veins and arteries.
- Dark chocolate provides a feeling of satiety for those who are trying to lose weight
- Chocolate has been linked to happier kids
- Pregnant mothers were better able to handle stress when eating chocolate during pregnancy
- A Italian study showed that dark chocolate eaten daily for about 2 weeks had a positive effect on cutting insulin resistance by nearly half.
- Stress hormones are reduced
- The flavonoids in chocolate help the skin to have some sun protection. It took twice as long to burn in the sun than the skin of the non-chocolate eaters
- Flavanols in chocolate increase blood flow to the brain for as much as 2 to 3 hours, improving alertness and producing increased cognition.
- The theobromine in chocolate can actually calm coughing – almost as well as codeine!
- Ancient cultures in both Europe and South America have historically treated diarrhea with cocoa. Modern science has backed up their findings.
There’s no excuse now, not to indulge in chocolate. However, the health benefits refer to the dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has a lot of added sugar, fat and other things. When switching over from milk to dark chocolate, try some of the blended varieties to make the transition. For example, milk chocolate candies coated with dark chocolate. Or opt for the healthier blueberries dipped in dark chocolate.
For more information about elder care in Webster Groves, MO contact Senior Services Unlimited. We are an elder care agency providing affordable and respectful home care to couples, veterans, and the disabled. call (314) 646-8131