Fewer Wrinkles with This Chocolate?
There’s some exciting research regarding how a certain kind of chocolate may help reduce wrinkles while promoting brain and overall health benefits. But before we get into that, let’s talk about chocolate varieties so you know what is NOT in your health interests.
Our Childhood Chocolate…Not The Answer
Most of us grew up on milk chocolate – that creamy, sweet childhood favorite. But here’s the scoop: milk chocolate is often loaded with sugar, milk powder, and fat. While it contains some cacao, it’s not exactly a healthy food. Today, we’re switching gears and focusing on the incredible benefits of the right kind of chocolate.
The Dark Chocolate Difference…Getting Closer
Dark chocolate, specifically the kind with 70% to 90% cacao content, typically has fewer grams of sugar and fat (the combination is a health killer). The higher the cacao percentage, the less sugar you’ll find. And that’s what we’re after! Dark chocolate is packed with polyphenols and flavonoids, thanks to its high antioxidant content. These compounds make it not only a treat for your taste buds but also a boon for your brain, can be cardio protective, and can have skin-boosting benefits (we’re getting there, I promise!).
The Power of Bitter
Since the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits there are, aim to get as close to 100% as you can which contains no sugar and some fat. The closer you get to 100% cacao, the more powerful the health benefits. You don’t have to munch on 100% chocolate bars if that’s too intense for you. Anything above a 70%+ is a good gateway…but to get maximum benefit, we have to go chocolaty-er!
How to Add 100% Cacao Deliciously
Adding dark chocolate to your diet can be simple and delicious! Start by incorporating a teaspoon or two of raw, organic cacao powder into your daily routine. Mix it into your morning smoothie or coffee for a fabulous mocha flavor.
If you find your cacao powder makes your coffee too bitter, consider natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. These won’t spike your blood sugar and will give you that sweet taste without the downsides of sugar.
The Exciting Skin Benefits
Now, here’s the exciting part! A study on cacao’s impact on skin health revealed promising results. It suggested that cacao may help reduce UV-induced skin aging and protect against wrinkles. Since sun exposure plays a major role in skin aging, this news is a game-changer. While the study was conducted on hairless mice, it hints at potential benefits for humans too.
I don’t know about you, but growing up I ended up with about a bazillion sunburns. Those burns cause photo aging that begins to really show up after age 40, so a little help from an old “friend” is a welcome and delicious reason to indulge in the good stuff!
Dark chocolate, particularly high-cacao content varieties, can be your secret weapon for overall health. From heart benefits to brain support and even potential skin rejuvenation, it’s more than just a sweet treat. So, indulge wisely, savor those dark chocolate squares, and enjoy those sweet rewards!