In college, I got in the unbreakable habit of eating dessert after dinner every day. Now, it’s like oxygen to me—I need something sweet after dinner or I just feel like I’m missing a vital nutrient (good thing we operate on an “everything in moderation” policy, eh?). Thankfully, I made a discovery post-college that saved me from going overboard on cake, cookies and ice cream for the rest of my life: dark chocolate.
Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t a big fan of dark chocolate. But, just like I grew to love raw onions and curry in my “old age,” I have grown to love dark chocolate. So much so that it has become the go-to treat that will take care of my sweet tooth without being a diet disaster. Because of its intense flavor, it only takes a small square (or sometimes two) to really satisfy me. And luckily, I’ve found that letting myself splurge regularly on dark chocolate prevents me from going overboard on other dessert items. Win win!
In addition to being extremely tasty and satisfying, dark chocolate has health benefits that a scoop of ice cream doesn’t. It can give you a caffeine boost if you need it in the afternoon (watch out for those nighttime caffeine boosts though!), and it stimulates endorphin production, which can give you those feelings of pleasure. Plus, its antioxidants are great for reducing cellular damage, not to mention that polyphenols inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol for heart health. Talk about a no-guilt treat if you eat it in moderation!
Seriously. If you’re not having a chocolate love affair, you’re missing out! How do you enjoy your dark chocolate? —Erin