Sweet Relief I

Chocolate is one sweet treat you can afford to eat. Although partially boosted by the wishful thinking of its countless connoisseurs, chocolate’s reputation is nearing that of “super foods”— along with blueberries, walnuts, beans, and red wine. According to WebMD.com, early research indicates 4 possible health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa:

Reducing the risk of heart attack

Decreasing blood pressure and insulin sensitivity

Improving arterial blood flow

Helping those with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Cocoa beans are packed with flavonoids — plant compounds full of antioxidants. Chocolate may also provide stimulants similar to serotonin, a hormone believed to influence mood. But, as with everything good in life, moderation and common sense come into play:

Opt for higher cocoa content and dark chocolate over milk chocolate

Don’t get your chocolate from candy bars; they’re loaded with caramel, peanut butter, nougat, coconut, fat, sugar, preservatives… you get the picture

Experts recommend an ounce or so a couple times each week; beyond that, you’re adding too

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