Hey everyone! It’s February, which means it’s Heart Health Month! This is the month that greater awareness is brought to the risk factors and prevention of heart disease, the #1 health risk nation-wide.
Heart disease is a highly preventable disease. Adding natural, nutrient-rich foods to your diet can go a long way towards preventing the number one killer of Americans. Foods such as vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and some fruit can provide micronutrients that allow your body to function optimally. But it’s not just the vitamins and minerals in these foods that are beneficial, but also the antioxidants, which help protect against free-radical damage.
In addition to the foods above, another heart-healthy food that is extraordinarily high in its antioxidant potential is cacao, from which chocolate is made.
Epicatechin, the powerful antioxidant found in chocolate has been shown to decrease the incidence of stroke, help protect against heart failure and protect against the onset of diabetes. However, through the manufacturing process, a lot of this antioxidant is processed out because of its bitter qualities, eliminating some it’s antioxidant potential. Additionally, commercially made chocolate is usually very high in sugar, all of which offsets the benefits of cacao.
In today’s video I am going to show you how to make a delicious dark chocolate, inspired by a recipe shared with me by my friend Catherine Boyer, a NYC-based psychotherapist, that is sweetened with natural ingredients and keeps the antioxidants in the end product. By using a combination of Xylitol, a plant based sugar-alcohol that is lower in calories and has less of an insulin response than sugar, combined with coconut palm nectar, a delicious, low-glycemic sugar substitute that gives the final product a caramel-like flavor, you will be able to enjoy a lower calorie treat without missing out on flavor.
So go ahead, indulge in a little chocolate guilt-free! Your heart and your taste buds will thank you for it! Have a healthy Monday! xo