A guilt-free indulgence? Well, it depends
Since it is a month celebrating love I thought a chocolate blog would be appropriate. Did you know, chocolate indulgence can help lower blood pressure. The key to enjoying dark chocolate is to eat it in small amounts, accoridng to German reserachers.
Foods rich in cocoa have been known to help the heart, but researchers thought the added sugar, fat and calories cancelled out any good the chocolate might do.
Polyphenols, a group of chemical substances found in dark chocolate, were found to help lower hypertension. Researchers also stated, dark chocolate helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute an estimated 59 million more people have pre-hypertension, which means blood pressure is 120/80 or above. An 18 week study was performed on dark chocolate group and it was reported a three-point drop in systolic blood pressure and a two point drop in diastolic.
At first glance, this reduction may seem very low, but on a population basis, that means if everyone would experience this blood pressure reduction, the risk of cardiovascular death would be reduced by five percent. But remember this is eaten in small doses.
Below is a delicious recipe
Ingredients 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 3 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 ounces German’s or other sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (1 ounce) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, cornstarch, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of the milk.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk the cocoa mixture into the boiling milk and cook, whisking, just until thickened, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the sweet chocolate and chocolate chips. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand until the chips have melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract. Spoon into 6 bowls and chill until serving time.
Nutrition Information per serving calories 187•total fat 5.5g (saturated 3g)•cholesterol 5mg•dietary fiber 1g•carbohydrate 31g•protein 5g•sodium 165mg•Good source of: calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12