What is the best chocolate?
According to a study done by Chemistry Central Journal, the best chocolate out there is dark chocolate. Surprisingly, dark chocolate has even more anti-oxidants than some of your healthiest fruit juices on the market.
In the study, they compared dark chocolate with hot chocolate mix, cocoa powder, and 100% pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry and acai berry juices.
The results showed that dark chocolate had a whopping 536 milligrams of flavonals, which are a variety of antioxidant. On average, each of the fruit juices contained less than 200 milligrams of the flavonals. They also found that, in a serving of dark chocolate, there are 991 milligrams of another type of antioxidant called polyphenols. It even had more polyphenols per serving than any of the other juices which, on average, only had 600 polyphenols.
However, according to Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., not all antioxidants are exactly what you would call equal. He describes antioxidants as being different types of troops in an army. In other words, you don't just want one kind. You need a good combination and variety of them all to work together and keep you as healthy as possible. You couldn't win a war with just all general or all lieutenants. You need a combination of commanders and foot soldiers and grunts. Therefore, when it comes to antioxidants you want to eat and drink a ton of fruits and tons of fruit juices as well as throwing in plenty of dark chocolate here and there, to balance everything out and get a full spectrum of variety in your antioxidants.
Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate
The fact that dark chocolate is jam packed with antioxidants is plenty enough reason to eat it more than occasionally. However, that isn't the only great thing thing about it. There are a ton of other benefits to eating dark chocolate as well!
The first benefit is that it is a great way to protect your heart. How? A third of the entire quantity of fat in dark chocolate comes from oleic acid which, as any health expert could tell you, is the same kind of healthy fat that is present in olive oil. It also helps to fight depression and battle high blood pressure.
Dark chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine. Thebromine is a chemical that is usually found in small traces in chocolate, but not nearly as much as in dark chocolate, that stimulates your brain into releasing pleasurable hormones that lift and boost your mood. Phenethylamine is another mood-boosting chemical you can find large traces of in dark chocolate. It triggers the release of endorphins in the brain and stimulates the release of dopamine. As we all know dopamine is linked to sexual arousal and pleasure. The third and final mood boosting substance in dark chocolate is anandamide. Anandamide is a fat-like chemical that is naturally created by the brain. It is known to bind to the exact same receptors in the brain is cannabinoids do, so it gives you a subtle version of the same high marijuana gives you! Consuming dark chocolate is a great way to lift your mood after a hard day at work.
Dark chocolate's fats are mostly all from cocoa butter, which isn't all that bad contained to the fats you find in other products. The saturated fats in cocoa butter all come from stearic acid. Stearic acid is better than most of the other fatty acids, because it has been proven to not raise blood pressure levels whatsoever. However, it is still fattening in large quantities, so you must consume it sparingly.
Now, considering all these benefits, you must still bare in mind that dark chocolate has way more calories than what you find in fruit. So you must severely limit your quantity in order to keep your body healthy.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Brownies
One of my favorite desert recipes ever is dark chocolate brownies! They taste amazing and, back when I actually let myself eat sugar, these things not only tasted great, but put me in an excellent mood every time I had some.
Below, I'll teach you how to make them too.
Step 1 - Prepare and make sure you have the following ingredients:
- 1 cup butter
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (bittersweet variety works the best)
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups sugar (if you want to, you can use any artificial sweetener as well)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour (all purpose)
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts (chop them up as small as you can)
- 1 cup sweet chocolate morsels
- 4 eggs (the larger, the better)
Step 2 - Mix your butter and your dark (bittersweet) chocolate together in a glass bowl that measures 2-quarts. After it is thoroughly blended, nuke it in the microwave on HIGH for one and a half to two minutes. Keep an eye on it though. Once the chocolate is melted, it needs to be taken out immediately. Stir the mixture twice and whisk your eggs with 2 cups of sugar and your vanilla extract.
Step 3 - Add your chopped up walnuts and chocolate morsels, with 1 tablespoon of flour, to a glass. Cover the top of it and toss it all together, mixing and blending it up well.
Step 4 - Take the left over flour and salt and stir it into the sugar mixture. Add your walnut mixture to the mix and then spread a bit of your batter into an already greased pan. The recommended size of the pan is thirteen by nine inches.
Step 5 - Bake the mix at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Afterwards, stick a wooden tooth pick in the center and it should not come out clean. Let it cool off while sitting on a wired rack.