To brighten our Friday, here's a report based on the latest research on chocolate from the RealAge/YOU Docs (Drs. Oz and Rozen of Oprah fame). In case anyone was in doubt, dark chocolate is good for you. LOL! Good thing, 'cause I'm eating it regardless (along with its less healthy cousins: milk and white). However, it's heartening to know these findings:
Chocolate has all but been elevated to superfood status. And the good news keeps rolling in. So here are three more reasons why you may not want to be too quick to break that chocolate habit. (As long as you're hitting the dark stuff.)
Chocolate makes you smarter. Ample research suggests that the flavonols in dark chocolate increase cerebral blood flow, which in turn may trigger the creation of new blood vessels and brain cells. And a new study showed that older adults performed better on cognitive tests after eating small portions of the sweet stuff.
Chocolate weakens heart attacks. Although more research is needed to confirm this one, a new study showed that regular chocolate eaters who had heart disease were less likely to die following a heart attack compared with the people who didn't treat themselves to the dark and dreamy stuff.
Chocolate has a cavity-fighting compound. Okay, so you don't necessarily want to trade in your toothbrush for a chocolate bar. But some interesting new research shows a compound in chocolate -- theobromine -- may be just as good as fluoride at hardening tooth enamel. So the compound could find its way into toothpastes and mouthwashes one day. Until then, keep in mind that most commercially prepared chocolate has lots of sugar in it.
In light of this happy research, I'm adding in one dark chocolate candy bar to the December prize package (which includes the DVD of "The Jane Austen Book Club"--see previous post for details) and, also, because getting enough sleep is at least as good for us as eating chocolate, I've got a really cool fabric sleep mask, made by lovely author friend Nancy J. Parra, that the winner will get as well. Her upcoming romantic suspense novel Dream Man is awesome! And she'll be a guest on Brant Flakes next month, too. :)
So, for those fellow chocolate lovers out there, what's your favorite kind? Milk vs. dark vs. white? Cadbury vs. Hershey vs. Dove vs. Ghiradelli?? Do you like it creamy smooth? With fillings like caramel or raspberry? With crunchy almonds or hazelnuts? If by chance you like to wear your chocolate...I just came across this link to make "Hershey Kiss Holiday Lights Necklaces." My kind of art project!