Delicious chocolate covered bananas on a cooling rack.

It's All About Chocolate! Health Benefits & Recipes

Fun fact: Dark chocolate's level of antioxidants rivals some fruits and veggies' antioxidant levels! For most of us, chowing down on dark chocolate bars is something we would happily do regardless of its benefits, so it probably goes without saying how good it is to hear this delightful treat also carries significant health perks. We are sharing a handful of its potential benefits along with some easy and healthy desserts sure to satisfy the strongest chocolate cravings.

  1. Heart Health*: This is proof that loving dark chocolate wholeheartedly is a good thing, right? Because dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, it has a lengthy list of potential heart-related benefits.

  1. Stress Levels*: Dark chocolate with 70% (or more) cocoa may reduce cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol, nicknamed "the stress hormone," can be associated with weight levels, fatigue, headaches, and other adverse side effects. You'll want to consume dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa because it contains a higher number of polyphenols and flavonoids--that's the helpful stuff!  

  1. Immune Health*: Our new life motto: Eat chocolate. Stay healthy! We knew dark chocolate kept our "grumpies" away but learning it can also support our immune health was a well-received surprise. Phenolic compounds found in cocoa may increase the immune system's defenses and improve the body's ability to fight illness. 

  1. Cognitive Health*: Who knew chocolate could be such a great study buddy? Sure, it's delicious and can be a nice "carrot" for getting through a certain number of pages. But dark chocolate's main claim for "great study buddy material" is its potential positive effects on memory and recall. 

  1. Valuable Nutrients*: Zinc, magnesium, potassium, and others, to be exact! The cocoa in dark chocolate houses rich nutrients like those mentioned above, along with copper and iron. If you want the most health benefits from chocolate, grab options with at least 70% cocoa. 

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipes:

  1. One Bowl Chocolate Cake: A one-bowl wonder! This chocolate cake is rich, decadent, and has minimal clean-up. We aren't sure which part we like the best, but we are sure it's a winning dessert that never disappoints.

  1. Chocolate Covered Banana Pops: In the heat of summer, everyone goes bananas over these pops. It's a kid-friendly, healthy treat that only requires three ingredients and some patience, as they need at least 30 minutes in the freezer. 

  1. Healthy Chocolate Pudding: Ultra-creamy, rich chocolate pudding is a love language, and this recipe is truly swoon-worthy. Better yet? It's nearly effortless to throw together! 

  1. Double Chocolate Fudge Pops: Go ahead and double-up the recipe for this one! Deep chocolate flavor and fudge-tastic texture go hand-in-hand for the ultimate summertime treat. 

  1. No Bake Superfood Brownies: When the heat is on outside--and inside to whip up a chocolate treat--these no-bake superfood brownies are perfect. Skip the hot oven and keep the satisfied tastebuds with a rich, chocolate-packed brownie.

Before making any changes to your diet, please check with your healthcare provider first to determine what type of nutritional plan is right for you.