Is it Really Valentine’s Day Without any Chocolate?

By February 7, 2017Food, Health, Recipes

Easiest answer: no. I’ve always said I would take chocolate over flowers any day. This is especially true on Valentine’s Day when stores are fully stocked with what appears to be a lifetime supply of every chocolate variety. Rather than buying a box of chocolates this year, get in the kitchen and bake some chocolate desserts for your “special someone,” or just for yourself! Each recipe listed here is made with dark chocolate, so you’re getting just as much taste as you are health benefits. Might as well enjoy the food that is nutritious for you, right?

  • High antioxidant content: antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals while also protecting the body from their damage. The higher the cocoa percentage in your dark chocolate, the more antioxidants you’re nourishing your body with!
  • Happy heart: flavanols, the main type of flavonoid in dark chocolate, has a positive impact on heart health. Blood pressure is decreased by consuming dark chocolate in moderation, as well as an improved blow flow to the brain and heart. The risk of blood clots and stroke is reduced due to flavanols ability to help make blood platelets less capable of clotting.
  • That wonderful thing called cholesterol: dark chocolate’s cocoa polyphenols are thought to have a positive impact on cholesterol control.┬áIt has been revealed that 3-week consumption of dark chocolate rich in polyphenols increased HDL cholesterol. FYI, this is the good-for-you cholesterol.
  • Skin protection: dark chocolate’s flavanols can also protect sun-induced skin damage by increasing blood flow to the skin and increasing skin density. Not too shabby, dark chocolate.

Check out some of my favorite dark chocolate recipes to whip up this Valentine’s Day! Or… any other time of the year, just because.

Raspberry bark

Sea salt brownies

Souffle

Baked donuts

Pistachio tart

 

Nicole

Nicole

Nicole works as a life and wellness coach through Nicole Leigh Coaching (www.nicolenessLPC.com) Nicole strives to empower women with similar struggles to redefine and re-identify themselves, separate from their eating disorder. Through her work, she empowers women to use balance in every aspect of life to maintain lifelong recovery. When Nicole isn't blogging or counseling, she loves spending her time traveling, eating burgers, and surrounding herself with positive people.