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Gourmet Foods 101
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"Dark chocolate has the ability to lower blood pressure and alleviate headaches"

Dark Chocolate

Antioxidents That Taste Divine

Not only does dark chocolate taste great, but also recent studies have shown that it is a very healthy food for people. Various scientific studies say that dark chocolate is actually good for you. Eating 2 ounces a day of dark chocolate that has a minimum content of 70 percent of chocolate solids can be beneficial to your health. This is good news for those people who like to indulge in dark chocolate.

Remember that not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate contains a lot more cocoa than other types of chocolate and standard chocolate manufacturing usually destroys up to half of the flavoniods. However, chocolate producing companies have now learned to make dark chocolate that keeps up to 95 percent of its flavoniods.

Dark chocolate is full of the flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid, which are antioxidants that help to protect your blood vessels, promote cardiac health and prevent cancer. Dark chocolate has also been effectively demonstrated to counteract against mild hypertension. In fact, dark chocolate has more flavonoids than any other antioxidant rich food such as red wine, green or black tea and blueberries. A 1 1/2-ounce piece of dark chocolate may have as many cancer fighting antioxidants in it as a five ounce glass of red wine. There has even been a fad diet called Chocolate diet which promotes the eating of chocolate and cocoa powder in capsules. Dark chocolate also contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, along with vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E. I'm sure most people would love to eat delicious dark chocolate instead of swallowing boring old vitamin pills.

Studies have also shown that about half of all food cravings are for chocolate. Some people go so far as saying that they are addicted to chocolate. However, that's not a good reason to go on a chocolate eating binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, but remember you do have to balance the extra calories out by eating less of other things, doing exercise or eating sugar free dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than some other types of chocolate though, so it also contains more caffeine.

The U.S. Market for Gourmet Chocolate states that the higher cocoa, lower sugar content and antioxidant characteristics of premium dark chocolate are making it a popular treat for health conscious Americans, especially those who are counting their carbohydrate intake. The potential health benefits of premium dark chocolate versus higher sugar and higher fat counterparts are making people reconsider their attitudes toward the gourmet chocolate market.

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