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The Lighthouse News

Is Chocolate the Enemy?

Read the whole article or surprise treat at the end
graphic+of+chocolate+mousse
Illustration by Skylar Hayward, Managing Editor

Amidst the holiday season, I find myself thinking quite often about cozying up with a nice hot cocoa and a good book or some other relaxing activity. Quite honestly, as a chocolate lover, I could go for a chocolatey treat at any time of the year. While there are many vibe killers out there who go out of their way to antagonize this delectable piece of happiness, I am here to rebel against these haters with good reason.

 

For starters, this natural serotonin booster is made of cocoa beans. That’s right, this delicious flavor comes from a plant. There are many benefits associated with consuming cocoa when consumed consciously. In other words, there are certain chocolate products that can provide us with these benefits, while others, not so much.

 

When buying chocolate it’s important to choose products that are at least 70% cocoa. The more natural cocoa in the product, the more of a positive impact it can have on your health. This also means that the chocolate will be more bitter, like dark chocolate. If you’re not a huge fan of eating dark chocolate, you can opt for using 100% cocoa powder in certain foods like smoothies, oats, fruit, yogurt, and more. While this is the most bitter form of cocoa, adding just a tablespoon of the powder to foods of your choice adds an authentic flavor of chocolate without adding any sugar, and only provides an additional ten calories. Plus, the bitterness is masked by the other flavors being combined with it.

 

As for the health benefits associated with cocoa, it is a great source of flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants work to eliminate unhealthy foreign invaders from the body to keep our immune systems in good working condition. These in turn help to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to your brain and heart, and prevent blood clots. Cocoa is also a good source of copper which helps maintain energy levels in conjunction with the benefits listed above. Furthermore, cocoa contains more calcium than milk which helps keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy. Some other health benefits include reducing inflammation in the body, fighting cancer, reducing stress levels, and improving calmness and overall mental well-being.

 

Hopefully, by now I’ve convinced you how much you need a fix of chocolate in your life every so often. Now to help you out with that, here’s a simple recipe containing cocoa powder that you can make in less than 5 minutes.

 

 

Protein Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

1 C cottage cheese

2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 T honey or maple syrup

Directions

1. Combine cottage cheese, cocoa powder, and honey in a blender/food processor

2. Blend until creamy

3. Add desired toppings, and enjoy

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