How does a daily dose of dark chocolate sound to you? The benefits of dark chocolate are far reaching and begin right after the first bite. Not only does our body produce the mood-elevating serotonin, also know as the happiness hormone, making us feel good when we eat it, but the cocktail of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in dark chocolate help our skin look good too. Hard to imagine any reason that this daily dose of dark chocolate should be excluded from our lives... so bring on all the extraordinary benefits of this super food!
- Rich in Vitamins — A, B1, C, D, E, zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium in dark chocolate have been shown to nourish skin by hydrating and replacing moisture, prevent aging by stopping the breakdown of collagen, and defend against harmful UV-rays thanks to antioxidants flavonoids.
- Rich in Flavanols — Flavanols are a type of flavonoid found in plants such as the cacao tree. The cacao tree grows the flavanol-rich cacao beans that are used to make chocolate. Due to their antioxidant properties, flavanols are said to be beneficial in fighting cell damage relating to aging. Dark chocolate contains two to three times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate.
- Choosing the Chocolate — Select dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao and qualities like vegan, organic and Fair Trade. Check the ingredients to ensure you are choosing dark chocolate with little to no extra sugars, fats, and ingredients that alter nutritional content.
- Enjoy the Moment — Dark chocolate is best savored slowly, so a little goes a long way. Ideal serving size is between one and two ounces, which is about 30 to 60 grams. For example, one ounce is the equivalent of about three squares of chocolate from a bigger bar. As your palette advances move to a chocolate with higher cacao, the more bitter the chocolate, the greater the benefits.