The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: Dark Chocolate Valentine

Collection of chocolates

Featured recipe

Have you ever sat down with a bag of Dove’s chocolates nearby and after a few minutes realized that the table was littered with more than one crumpled wrapper?  Nope, me either 🙂  What I have noticed is that inside those foils are really cute (and sometimes challenging) comments. One I have taped up in my work space reads, “Keep the promises you make yourself.”

With these words in mind and Valentine’s Day just a week or so away, thoughts definitely turn to chocolate. And then the sneaking glances begin because just a short five weeks ago, I made a better health commitment. I intended to exercise more.

I was excited to read this article in Women’s Health which revealed that there are several health benefits to eating dark chocolate (note, NOT milk chocolate, or chocolate chips, but DARK chocolate.)

– About a square of dark chocolate a day may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent

– Dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods and may make you feel more full

– Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and flavonoids, both tied to super foods

– Women who ate chocolate daily during their pregnancy handled stress than mothers-to-be who abstained (these women’s babies were also happier and smiled more than those who avoided dark chocolate)

– When dealing with stress, dark chocolate may help people deal with emotional eating better than a pint of ice cream

– Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, a chemical responsible for chocolate’s feel-good effect

Imagine my excitement to read that dark chocolate (my favorite) could be doing me more good than harm. Of course, eating the whole bag is probably not good! As always, moderation is most appropriate. Be an example for those who sit around your table and eat just one chocolate (and then throw the wrapper* away, of course!)  Children learn most of their attitudes about food from their parents.  It’s human nature to love sweets, but we can teach our children to enjoy sweets in moderation.

Frances_Brooks-2012

Frances Brooks
Director of Operations & Business Development

Do you have a favorite dark chocolate recipe to share? Please Pin it or Share it on our social media pages so all of our readers can benefit from your recipe box!

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