Tag Archive: health benefits

10 Awesome Ways to Enjoy Chocolate and Fruit

There are many types and varieties of chocolate you can find in the market. You can find sweet milk chocolate almost everywhere. But aside from the famous chocolate bar you commonly see, chocolate also comes in many other forms.

For example, it can come in a powder, as well as nibs, syrups, solids, and butter. These other forms are often used as ingredients in your other favorite desserts, such as cake.

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Mary Jane’s Chocolates – Dark Chocolate Cherries

“Cave to the Crave!” is the slogan for Mary Jane’s Chocolates in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Last week, I introduced a Kentucky chocolatier, Chaser’s Chocolates, and their Bourbon Balls. This week, I have another Kentucky chocolatier, Mary Jane’s Chocolates, to introduce.

While Chaser’s was more gift shop than chocolates shop, Mary Jane’s is 100% chocolates.

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10 Ways Chocolate Is Actually Good for You

Most people like chocolate. For me, this is one food I can survive on!

There is just so much you can do with chocolate. You can have hot cocoa, put some chocolate syrup on your pancakes, have chocolate pudding, soufflés, and truffles, dip your fruit in it, or just have chocolate on its own; the possibilities are endless.

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Basking In The Awesome Chocolate

Below are the reasons why you should always save some space for chocolate on your plate.

  1. Chocolate is good for your heart.
    Daily consumption of chocolate may cut down one’s risk of suffering from a heart attack and even stroke.
  1. Chocolate can help you shed some unwanted pounds.
    People have this notion that chocolate makes you fat. It’s not always the case. Research has shown that a person who gets his chocolate fix on a regular basis is more likely to be slim than one who doesn’t. Turns out, a person who eats chocolate five times per week or more has a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than those who eat chocolate less frequently.
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Reducing Liver Enzymes in HIV/HCV Patients

A recent study has shown that patients diagnosed with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) and HCV (Hepatitis C virus) who ate chocolate on a daily basis, and downed at least 3 cups of coffee each day, were found to have lower levels of ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) as compared to patients who had fewer foods that had polyphenol in them.

Scientists came up with these results from 990 adult patients coinfected with HCV and HIV. They tried tossing in moderate red wine consumption into the analysis, but it did not make a significant change to the results. Also, tobacco use had no impact on either outcome. A combination indicator for polyphenol-rich food intake including both coffee and chocolate consumption was remarkably linked to risk reductions for high ALT and AST.

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How To Fully Enjoy Your Chocolate

"Mindful eating goes beyond eating," said Lilian Cheung, a registered dietitian, co-author of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, and director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

You can easily be more mindful if you opt for high-quality chocolate and check the label before buying. You can get an instant idea regarding the sweetness or bitterness of chocolate by understanding the chocolate to sugar ratio.

"If you buy chocolate with a higher cocoa content, it will be less sweet," said Stephen Durfee, a pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, California. "You will get more of the natural flavor of chocolate."

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Added Awesomeness To The Already Awesome Chocolate

Did my title just scare you? Please, say it didn't. I may come off as a chocoholic who worships chocolate and its overall greatness. Well, yeah, that is actually true. But heck. I am sane enough to be writing this for you. So, welcome, and go on with your reading, and you will perfectly understand why I am just this appreciative when it comes to chocolate.

Lots of things have already been said about chocolate when it comes to its beneficial effects to the human mind and body. Little did we know that further studies and research are being conducted in order to lengthen the existing long list of the good things about it.
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Chocolate Reduces Risk of Stroke

It has come to my attention that people have been living and leading healthy lives in the past few years. They have been eating responsibly, stopped smoking and drinking, sleep for plenty of time, and exercise regularly. This is really a good news for people who have been plagued by health-related diseases that restricts them to be the best persons they can be.

In a recent study, researchers have found out that eating a healthy dose of chocolates every week was indeed associated and linked to a reduced rate of stroke incidents particularly in the male-side of the populace. (If you are a lady who loves the men in your life, then the consideration of buying them chocolates is really a good idea.)
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The ‘Emotional’ Benefits of Chocolate

Many experts have advertised that it takes only a spoonful of chocolate to send a person into a sense of bliss and ecstasy.  This may sound like it's a bit of  an exaggeration, but recent research shows that certain foods can affect people's mood similarly to prescription medications.

Naturally occurring chemicals in foods can be considered as a smart and safe choice rather than having to take pills for mood enhancement. I personally believe that it is just wise and healthy to go 'green' and natural in the food we consume. Aside from the many benefits it brings, it also assures us of no harmful synthetic chemicals entering our bodies.

The Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies located in California conducted a study of the effects of more than 1,700 commonly occurring substances that are present in everyday foods. The fact that chocolate is known to have a 'positive' boosting effect on people's mood made it a good candidate for further scrutiny in the study.
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Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs have enjoyed an increased amount of attention lately.  They are turning up almost everywhere nowadays, but since they are often just added to other products, many people don't really know what they are.

Nibs are actually cocoa beans with the shell removed.  By the time you get them as an ingredient they have usually undergone roasting and prepping to a point that making them into bars is the only major step that remains.

The chocolate making process consists of grinding up the cocoa nibs into a very consistent and thick paste and then adding sugar. For milk chocolate, milk powder would be added.  For some chocolate, extra cocoa butter might be added. But the basis of all chocolates are the ground up nibs.
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