October 04, 2013

How Healthy is it to Dip Strawberries in Chocolate?

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I have a treat for you here today. Sara, writer at http://www.nannypro.com/ is here today to talk about the healthy benefits of strawberries and chocolate. Any way I can get my chocolate fix, while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something I am all over. Take it away Sara!

Dipping strawberries in chocolate may sound like a semi-unhealthy snack until you consider the actual health benefits of both components. Yes, chocolate has health benefits when eaten in moderation. This doesn't mean you should dip a bucket of fried chicken in chocolate and call it healthy, but there are some benefits to a few strawberries dipped in this culinary delight. What kind of benefits am I talking about?

1. Stroke Prevention - A Swedish study of women who ate approximately 45 grams of chocolate per week where 20 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who only ate nine grams or less. Strawberries themselves can assist in the prevention of strokes as well since they are loaded with various vitamins and minerals and can reduce the cholesterol in the blood stream decreasing the chances of the onset of this affliction.

2. Cardiovascular - Chocolate eaters are found to have less bad LDL cholesterol levels. It's also better for the heart as it lowers blood pressure. As dark chocolate is well known for superior levels of these heart-healthy conditions, it helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Strawberries are also rich in tannin, antioxidants and phytonutrients which have been known to prevent cardiovascular diseases as well.

3. Diabetes - According to a small Italian study in 2005, regularly eating chocolate can help increase your insulin levels to stave off certain types of diabetes. However, this is more of a common activity as some diabetics can stave off "attacks" by consuming sweetened materials in order to increase the body's insulin levels. Strawberries also reduce sugar spikes from those suffering from type 2 diabetes as a method to stabilize the blood sugar levels.

4. Healthy Skin - The flavonoid content of dark chocolate provides a layer of protection for your skin from the UV rays of the sun. While all chocolates have flavonoids present, the level is much higher in dark chocolate and can help prevent the onsets of skin cancer. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants which prevent the onset of various cancers as well. Since cancers and tumors can be caused by oxidative stress in cells, the high levels of antioxidants in strawberries greatly reduces the oxidation levels adding a layer of protection from such ailments.

5. Improving Blood Flow - Cocoa itself has anti-clotting and blood thinning properties that reduce the restriction of blood flow. Much like aspirin, cocoa can essentially be used to calm headaches. There are a variety of instances where increased blood flow can be greatly beneficial to a human body including brain functionality and stamina. Strawberries contain high levels of copper and iron, which is used to produce new blood cells within the body.

6. Improved Vision - Because of the effects of increased blood flow, the University of Reading theorize that this could also increase the flow to the retinas of the human eyes increasing your vision capabilities. The antioxidants and phytonutrients that are contained in strawberries also improve eye sight from oxidative stress and UV rays.

Although chocolate does have a lot of health benefits when used as a dip with strawberries, you shouldn't go out and eat a few bags of Snickers. While cocoa itself is beneficial for your body, the added sugars from other elements could compound health problems. Like all foods in life, moderation is key to maintaining health while enjoying the simple things.

Author Bio
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.  

Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.

1 comment:

Danelle M said...

I've always told myself chocolate covered strawberries were healthy. Now I have proof! :)