Health Benefits of Chocolate!

Are you stuffed from Valentine’s Day chocolates? The good news is that it’s heart health month and there are heart health benefits of chocolate! A presentation made by British investigators at the European Society of Cardiology 2011 Congress in Paris (see published version here) concluded that chocolate is good for the heart and good for the brain. The meta-analysis results showed that high levels of chocolate consumption (compared with the lowest levels of chocolate consumption) reduced the risk of any cardiovascular disease 37% and stroke 29%. There was no association between chocolate consumption and the risk of heart failure, and no association on the incidence of diabetes in women; “these favorable effects seem mainly mediated by the high content of polyphenols present in cocoa products”, concludes Dr. Adriana Buitrago-Lopez (University of Cambridge, UK) and colleagues. So on that note, enjoy this delicious chocolate cake recipe:

Healthy Chocolate Cake with Xylitol Recipe
Servings: 12
Serving size: 2″ slice

• 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
• 1 cup xylitol
• ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
• ¾ tsp. baking soda
• ¼ tsp. sea salt
• 3 tbsp. safflower oil
• 1 cup water
• 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9″ round pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cake tests done when checked with a toothpick.

For the glaze: 1/4 cup xylitol, 1 tsp. rum (or Kahlua), 1/8 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix it all together, and top the cake with it while warm.

Nutrient Information
Calories: 152
Carbohydrates: 12.02g
Cholesterol: 0g
% Fat Cal: 44.64%
Fiber: 3.13g
Sodium: 128mg
Fat: 7.54g
Protein: 1.96g