Nutrition

6 health benefits of chocolate plus 6 delicious recipes

Getty Images Author: Ashley Poslun

Nutrition

6 health benefits of chocolate plus 6 delicious recipes

Good news for chocolate lovers: You don't need to feel bad about indulging in your guilty pleasure.

Chocolate should no longer be deemed a "guilty" pleasure because, it's true, eating chocolate has health-boosting benefits. Yes—adding a little bit of dark chocolate to your daily diet can actually help improve your health. Here's how.

1. Chocolate can improve your mental performance
A team of researchers looked at recent data from almost 1,000 participants and found that those who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on cognitive tasks than those who ate chocolate less frequently. But watch out—eating too much chocolate (unfortunately, there is such thing) can cause high levels of cholesterol.

2. Chocolate helps protect women's skin
Though this definitely doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen, long-term ingestion of the antioxidants found in cocoa (called flavanols) can offer some protection from UV damage.

3. Chocolate improves your mood
Tryptophan, a plentiful amino acid that is found in chocolate, can help with depression or improving your mood in general according to this study. Chocolate even contains a "love chemical" (phenylethylamine), which can spike dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.

4. Chocolate improves vision
Chocolate's ability to improve vision is closely related to the way it improves blood flow. The flavanols that lower your bad cholesterol and blood pressure also protect the blood vessels in your eyes.

5. Chocolate prevents memory decline
Scientists found a sweet way for older people to ward off memory loss and dementia: a dairy-based drink mix filled with cocoa flavanols. When consumed regularly, the mix promotes memory and learning by keeping the blood flowing in working areas of the brain.

6. Chocolate can help with weight loss
If you're having a hard time cutting sweets out of your diet, the good news is you can keep a little dark chocolate around. A recent study found that consuming dark chocolate lowers the desire to eat something sweet, salty or fatty. Indulging in a small amount of dark chocolate—not milk chocolate—every now and then should make it a little easier to stick to your diet.

 

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6 delicious chocolate recipes

Dark and Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake

Everyone should be able to eat chocolate cake. A few simple substitutions is all it takes to make our classic recipe free of dairy, gluten, eggs, white sugar and vegetable oil, without sacrificing the intense chocolaty taste and moist, fluffy texture you've come to love.

Read more: Dark and Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake
By: Amanda Barnier andThe Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jodi Pudge Credits: Canadian Living

6 delicious chocolate recipes

The Ultimate Banana Bread

The aroma of baking banana bread is enough to drive just about anyone wild with anticipation. Our best version—made using the surprising (and mysteriously effective) technique of "marinating" the bananas in a buttermilk and baking soda blend—delivers on all counts. It's moist, buttery, sweet and chockfull of banana flavour. Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Banana Bread

Read more: The Ultimate Banana Bread
By: Rheanna Kish and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson Credits: Canadian Living

6 delicious chocolate recipes

Nut-Free Chocolate Cherry Granola

You won't miss the nuts in this deluxe granola. Make sure it's completely cool before adding the chocolate! Get the Recipe: Nut-Free Chocolate Cherry Granola

Read more: Nut-Free Chocolate Cherry Granola
By: Adell Shneer and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Leila Ashtari Credits: Canadian Living

6 delicious chocolate recipes

Dark Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones

This dark chocolate and tart cherry bits in these scones eliminate the need for any jam or topping. This is a terrific snack to grab for mornings on the go, or to pack for a long car ride to Grandma's house. Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones

Read more: Dark Chocolate and Dried Cherry Scones
By: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson/TC Media Credits: Canadian Living

6 delicious chocolate recipes

Chewy Quinoa Bars

These nut-free treats are chewy and packed with flavour, thanks to the tasty fruit and toasted quinor, which also add fibre and protein to stave off hunger. Pack one in your knapsack for snack emergenices! Get the recipe: Chewy Quinoa Bars

Read more: Chewy Quinoa Bars
By: Melanie Stuparyk and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen Source: Jeff Coulson Credits: Canadian Living

6 delicious chocolate recipes

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Raspberry Coulis

This recipe is decadent, incredibly chocolaty and extremely easy to make.

Get the recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cake with Raspberry Coulis

By: Jennifer Bartoli and The Canadian Living Test Kitchen


 
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Nutrition

6 health benefits of chocolate plus 6 delicious recipes

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