Are you confused about what food trends are actually good for your body? It seems the advice changes regularly. In a recipe search for healthy eating for busy moms, one item keeps coming up – dark chocolate. This is one ingredient that is continuously recommended for all the health benefits for women.
As a nurse and mom of seven kids, I know how hard it can be to find time to fit in some healthy snacks. And let’s face it – most of us would rather eat chocolate than vegetables anyway. Well…. sometimes I do adore veggies on the go too. But chocolate is a treat that is pure perfection.
Let’s dive into my favorite secret for getting in some healthy antioxidants while satisfying my sweet tooth: dark chocolate. Yes, that’s right I’ll say it again – eating dark chocolate has many health benefits, including improving heart health and reducing the risk of cancer. Plus, it makes you feel good! So go ahead and indulge guilt-free – here are all the reasons why dark chocolate is the perfect snack for busy moms plus a few ideas for making these treats.
Healthy Eating for Busy Moms: Benefits of Dark Chocolate
If chocolate is one of your favorite foods, then you’ll be delighted to know that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, has actual health benefits. That’s great news because now you have an excuse to indulge in this swoon-worthy treat.
Eating dark chocolate doubles as both a beauty and a health tip for busy moms – it’s an instant mood lifter and is good for you!
What Kind of Dark Chocolate is Good For You?
Before we get too excited about the health benefits of dark chocolate, it is important to know what to look for. Read the labels and always choose chocolate, cocoa, or cacao that contains at least 70% or more cocoa content. Anything less than that and the health benefits will be greatly reduced. Healthy eating for busy moms can absolutely include chocolate – just make sure it is the right kind of chocolate.
How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat a Day?
Moderation in all things is the key to healthy eating for busy moms, and that includes chocolate! Dark chocolate contains lots of goodness, but you still want to go easy. The current recommendation is 1-2 ounces per day.
What are the Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Busy Moms?
Dark chocolate can positively affect our skin, heart, and cognitive function. Dark chocolate can even have an impact on womens’ periods. Keep reading for more in-depth info about all the benefits of dark chocolate. Then, I have a few recipes for you, too.
Antioxidants and Flavanols
One of the prime benefits of dark chocolate is that it contains antioxidants, which are important in helping your body ward off and repair the damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can contribute to inflammation and chronic disease. If dark chocolate contains helpful properties to eradicate them, then that’s an excellent reason to consume this delectable ingredient.
Dark chocolate also contains flavanols. Flavanol is a type of flavonoid that aids in heart health. Research has shown that flavanol can help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. Are you starting to see how dark chocolate can be a part of our healthy eating plans?
Reduction of Cholesterol and Improvement of Cognitive Function
The benefits keep growing. Dark, rich chocolate full of flavonol has also been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol (this is the “bad” one). Research has also shown that dark chocolate may improve cognitive function, again, thanks to flavonol. If you feel like you’re in a bit of a brain fog, try an ounce of dark chocolate and see if that helps.
Dark chocolate is also being researched for its benefits for healthy eyes and visual acuity.
One more awesome reason to consume dark chocolate is that it’s amazing for your skin. That’s right – your skin. Remember that saying “you are what you eat”? This is true with dark chocolate. All those flavonol properties have been shown to protect against damage done by ultraviolet light. Included in its benefits is the ability to reduce skin roughness and help with hydration.
Let’s not forget about important minerals. Dark chocolate also contains health-boosting amounts of iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. These are so important for the cellular functioning of our bodies.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate in Periods
Remember those minerals I just mentioned? Magnesium is a strong ally when it comes to menstrual cramps as it helps relax muscles. The potassium in dark chocolate can also help prevent water retention and bloating. Another benefit of dark chocolate in periods is to give yourself a bit of an energy boost. Dark chocolate is also rich in iron, so it is naturally helping your body stabilize iron levels.
What to Make with Dark Chocolate?
With all these amazing benefits, it’s no wonder that dark chocolate is considered a superfood!
As with anything that tastes awesome, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re not overdoing it. It is still chocolate and is not low-calorie or low-fat, so the aforementioned 1-2 ounces is a good guide that still allows you to enjoy that rich taste.
What are some healthy recipes that pair dark chocolate with other healthy ingredients?
No Bake Raspberry Chocolate Tart by Bakerita
You’re going to get all the benefits of dark chocolate and have time for a nap because this recipe takes just 10 minutes to put together! This tart is filled with a dark chocolate vegan ganache and then topped with fresh raspberries.
Chocolate Bark by Taste Love And Nourish
No more of that chocolate bark that is really mostly waxy chemicals! This recipe uses dark chocolate in conjunction with all sorts of healthy nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Use it for special occasions or just a small serving as an afternoon pick-me-up.
Healthy Double Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups by Amy’s Healthy Baking
At only 38 calories a serving, these are sure to make the list of healthy eating for busy moms! Dark chocolate on the outside and more dark chocolate mixed with peanut butter on the inside. I’d make an extra batch and pop some in the freezer for later use, too.
Chocolate Covered Banana Bites by Green Healthy Cooking
When you’re in the mood for something cold, creamy and chocolatey, these banana bites will hit the spot. One bite will be a good afternoon summer treat or the perfect nibble at midnight when you’re feeling a little peckish.
Vegan Chocolate Turtles by Fit Mitten Kitchen
You’ll never believe these are good for you! Dark chocolate, nut butter, nuts are the perfect combination. Just remind yourself this is beauty food!
Tiramisu Liqueur Bombs by 9 On A Dime
This recipe might not be quite as healthy as the rest on this list, but when you need dark chocolate with a hint of tiramisu then this recipe might hit the spot. Curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and drop in one of these when you need a little comfort.
Perhaps one of the best life hacks for busy moms is to eat dark chocolate. Now that you know the benefits of dark chocolate in periods, as well as for your skin, heart health, and cognitive function, it might seem too good to be true. But don’t forget, busy moms need healthy snacks too, so feel free to indulge in this sweet treat without the guilt.
If you’re looking for chocolate of any kind take a look at these 19 Scrumptious Chocolate Recipes for Picky Eaters.