Healthy Chocolate Treats

( [email protected] ) Apr 23, 2004 12:09 PM EDT

Now that Easter is over, what are you going to do with that extra chocolate? Throw it away? Hold on to that sweet treat until you get the full scoop.

Isn't chocolate bad for you?

This is not completely true. In fact, this tasty treat may actually offer some health benefits.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is known to be high in disease-fighting chemicals called catechins. To show the difference between dark chocolate and milk chocolate, here are some numbers:

53 mg dark chocolate = 100g of catechins

16 g milk chocolate = 100g of catechins

White chocolate has even less, therefore, the darker the chocolate the better!

Because of its antioxidant properties, dark chocolate offers health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and fighting cancer-it even has antimicrobial properties. Believe it or not, dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than strawberries.

Tasty chocolaty suggestions

Kids are the all-time lovers of chocolate; this is why there is a chocolate for every occasion. While dark chocolate will give you some health benefits, as with any other food, don't overdo it-a small piece will do the job.

Some healthy, chocolaty treats for kids are:

Fruit dipped in dark chocolate: By dipping fruit, such as berries, into the chocolate, you double the amount of antioxidants in this treat. The berries and the chocolate are both high in beneficial antioxidants.

Chocolate covered almonds: Not only are you getting the heart health benefits of the chocolate, you are also getting healthy fats from the nuts.

Just enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate on its own.

You don't need a lot of this sweet treat. Just a small amount of dark chocolate on a regular basis will give you the health benefits you deserve in a healthy treat. Don't forget about your diet-the health benefits of chocolate or any other food doesn't mean much if the rest of your diet is not healthy. Click here to learn more about what a healthy diet means.