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Dark Chocolate for pleasure and health

Dark chocolate helped me in an unexpected way. But it can help all of  us in many ways. My experience is a bit out of the ordinary and not nearly as important as what you will read below. Nevertheless, I do a one man play about F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The non stop show and the following Q&A session run about an hour and a half. It takes a lot energy. Just coincidentally I ran across an article about researchers who were studying college students up most of the night cramming for finals. Eventually they were worn down, not thinking clearly and very sleepy. So the researchers gave them each two dark chocolate candy bars. They snapped right out of their lethargy and roared on with the cramming. Well, I thought, I’ll try that. Before each performance I chomped away on two dark chocolate bars and Bingo, I was sharp as a tack for the entire event. Now please understand I’m not recommending that you eat two dark chocolate bars a day or even at any one time!  I don’t do the show every day. I’m just saying that I’m now a fan of dark chocolate. So, at Seniors About Seniors we felt you might enjoy Kristen Mancinelli’s article on the subject.


Eating small amounts of dark chocolate can be good for your health. Chocolate comes from a plant — the bean of the cacao tree — and, like certain teas, wine and many fruits and vegetables, it boasts a high concentration of antioxidant compounds called “flavonoids,” which can help prevent heart disease and protect against cancer. Processing cacao into chocolate diminishes its flavonoid content, and milk appears to inhibit its antioxidant effects. To get the maximum health benefit it’s best to consume minimally processed chocolate in pure, dark form without additives (like corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and artificial colors or flavors). Look for a cacao (or cocoa) content of 70 percent, and be sure to watch the portion size. Although brands vary, you can assume that a one- to one-and-a-half-ounce serving of plain dark chocolate contains about 200 calories. Read on to discover the 12 top brands for clean and healthy chocolate.
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Kristen Mancinelli, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian specializing in the science of popular diets. She is author of “The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss”. Mancinelli holds a master’s degree in nutrition and public health from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from NYU.

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