My husband Rob suggested that we start eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day after he noticed at McFit that we could improve our workouts by 50%. He didn't need to twist my arm since I'm already a chocolate lover. However, I grew up eating milk chocolate; dark chocolate could take some getting used to. At first I tried a bar of 70% dark cocoa and it was good but not great. Then I tried Cadbury's Dark Chocolate bar and it was excellent (I suspect it's 50%). I was hooked! Here are some other benefits of eating "le chocolat noir".
1. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which counteract free radicals in the body.
2. It lowers blood pressure.
3. It lowers LDL cholesterol by as much as 10%.
4. It fights cancer (like red wine, blueberries, garlic and tea) by inhibiting the division of cells and reducing inflammation.
5. It prevents tooth decay (as long as it's not full of sugar) by eliminating bacteria in the oral cavity.
6. It lengthens life and prevents disease. One Dutch study followed 200 men for 20 years and found those who ingested dark chocolate regularly lived longer and were less prone to disease. Jeanne Louise Calment, the world's longest living person at 122 years of age, consumed 2.5 pounds of dark chocolate per week.
7. It contains magnesium which improves the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular systems.
8. It cleans up the arteries like a broom sweeping a floor.
9. It improves brain health by shielding the nerve cells and strengthening the memory.
10. It acts as a natural anti-depressant by boosting endorphins.
So, break open a bar of dark chocolate. Condition yourself to eat just a few squares each day (I eat three). Your body will thank you!