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Talking about heart health month, it only seems appropriate to talk about CHOCOLATE!
Though recommended to eat sparingly, the health benefits of dark chocolate are widely known. The secret of healthy dark chocolate resides in the levels of cocoa. The higher the amount the better! To get all the health benefits of dark chocolate, nutritionist recommend chocolate that contains 70% or more of cocoa.
From famous pastry Chef François Payard, this Chocolate Tofu Mousse is as healthy as dessert can get!
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup soy milk
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
10-ounce silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
- Place chopped bittersweet chocolate in a bowl.
- In a saucepan, combine soy milk and scraped vanilla bean. Bring to a boil; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Remove vanilla bean and whisk until smooth.
- In a blender, process drained silken tofu until creamy (10 seconds). Add mix; blend until smooth (20-30 seconds).
- Spoon into 5 individual bowls; refrigerate until mousse is firm (1 hour).
- Before serving, divide 1/4 cup each raspberries and blueberries among bowls.
And while eating this fantastic chocolate mousse, a reminder of the benefits of dark chocolate:
1.- A healthier heart = loving longer: Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels, decreasing your risk for heart attack or stroke from a clot. It is also known for lowering cholesterol levels.
2.- Blood Pressure: Eating dark chocolate reduces blood pressure by helping the lining of the blood vessels expand and contract better to control blood flow more effectively.
3.- Remembering where you left your keys: Research has shown that increasing blood flow to the brain, dark chocolate can improve and slow down dementia.
4.- Stress and the Blues: We all know that a bite of dark chocolate makes us feel good INSTANTLY! Several studies suggest that eating dark chocolate mimics the release of the hormones that make us feel good. Dark chocolate has been found to improve mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. "Psychology Today" even reports pregnant women who eat more chocolate during pregnancy give birth to more stress-free babies.
5.- Gut Health: Science Daily talks about the latest research of the treat of the Aztec Gods: “Dark chocolate might pack a double positive punch for our health—thanks to the microbes that live in our gut. New research suggests that beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of our digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and the fiber in cocoa”.
6.- Loving life while staying young: Skin is known to be the largest organ in our bodies. Researchers found that certain components in cocoa may actually help improve the appearance of women's skin - increasing hydration, decreasing skin roughness and scaling, and helping to support the skin's defense against UV damage. Antioxidants found in dark chocolate protect the skin from free radicals in the environment that can cause wrinkles.
About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.
The organization does so by funding scholarships to students researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, and researchers to convey timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that improve the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community.
The information herein is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. You are advised to consult with your physician with regards to matters relating to your health, and in particular regarding matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Recipe and Photo: Health Magazine: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,50400000120332,00.html