Satisfy Chocolate Cravings without Guilt

Chocolate cravings fulfilled without guilt

Can it be possible?

More and more health experts agree that the nutrients found in chocolate can mean better health for you!

You just have to find the best chocolate and eat in moderation. . .

yes, less is more!

Why do we crave chocolate?

Maybe it's because our bodies are crying out for it!

Chocolate, the "Food of the Gods"

There is a chemical process that happens when we experience chocolate cravings. Chocolate, also known as the �food of the gods� contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that must be present in the production of serotonin. When you increase the amount of serotonin in your body, it releases endorphins that produce a calming, euphoric feeling. Stress can sometimes deplete your body's level of serotonin so when you experience chocolate cravings, your body could be trying to replenish serotonin levels.

This also explains why women suffering from PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) often have acute chocolate cravings. It could be brought on by feelings of depression from lowered serotonin levels.

Chocolate is made from the cacao bean which is rich in flavonols. Milk chocolate and white chocolate do not have these same heart-healthy properties because the heat and pressure when it�s processed destroys the flavonols. So when you have chocolate cravings, go for the dark!

Good News about Chocolate

Chocolate does not cause cavities. In fact, cacao (main ingredient in chocolate) contains antibacterial agents that actually fight tooth decay. The sugar in most chocolate, on the other hand, can cause concern for your dentisit. Tip: Eat dark chocolate instead. It has less sugar.

Chocolate does not raise your blood cholesterol. Cocoa butter contains oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat that's foundin olive oil.

Chocolate is a "feel-good" food. It contains a chemical called phenylethylamine, a mild mood elevator produced when we feel happy or are in love.

Chocolate relaxes you. Milk chocolate has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee. The aroma of chocolate produces theta waves in your brain, the same waves that increase during meditation or prayer.

Chocolate can help you live longer. A Harvard University study showed that men who ate chocolate lived a year longer than those that didn't. It helps blood vessels stay elastic and increases beneficial anti-oxidants in the bloodstream.

Maybe that's why women live longer than men? Because they eat more chocolate? It's just a theory!

The best chocolate recipes online is an excellent website with the most comprehensive list of chocolate recipes I've ever seen! I'm sure you will find a healthy chocolate recipe on there somewhere...there are recipes for drinks, too, which can be a great way to get your chocolate fix without going overboard.

Here's a recipe that you will just love...

Chocolate Bliss Bites

(from Prevention Magazine; Feb. 2007)

� cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

� cup sugar, divided

3 large egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 300�F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. In small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt, and � cup of the sugar. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium-low speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining � cup sugar, � TBSP at a time, until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form. Fold in cocoa mixture and vanilla extract. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 25 minutes for soft chewy cookies or 40 minutes for crisp ones. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners� sugar.

Other hot chocolate links

Everything in moderation, right? If you eat the highest quality of chocolate when those chocolate cravings hit, you will be less likely to overindulge. Fulfill your chocolate cravings, click here. Obsessed with the idea of chocolate? Does it inspire you to write poetry? Visit Virtual Chocolate , a website devoted to all things chocolate.

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