Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good for your heart...

Dark chocolate brownies are not only full of fudgy goodness, they're packed with antioxidants that are good for your heart.

  • 1 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 8-inch-square baking pan. Set aside 1/3 cup morsels.
  2. Heat 1 1/3 cups morsels, sugar, butter and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt; stir till just combined. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup morsels and nuts. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky/crumby. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 16 pieces.

Each brownie has just 138 calories, and better yet, I've read about the health benefits of dark chocolate.  (So if baking brownies seems like too much in this heat, you can just bite into some dark Callebaut if you like :)  )

Antioxidants and anti-aging

Many of the health benefits of dark chocolate are based around its various ingredients that fight free radicals and minimize the effects of aging. Free radical damage is linked to more than 100 conditions ranging from heart disease and arthritis to dementia and diabetes.

Cardiovascular health benefits

The protective effects of cocoa on the heart and vascular system are probably its most well-documented topic. Literally hundreds of studies have investigated the health benefits of dark chocolate and the cardiovascular system.

Brain health benefits

Like the heart and blood vessels, dark chocolate can protect the brain from conditions related to high blood pressure, clots and free radical damage.  Chocolate also affects the brain’s function, thereby affecting mental function, cognition and mood. One of the really good health benefits of dark chocolate!

Dark chocolate and diabetes

Both forms of diabetes are conditions that are linked to and exacerbate other major conditions. Numerous studies indicate that dark chocolate has a very favorable effect on blood sugar levels and the symptoms of diabetes. 

Health benefits for inflammation

A growing body of research associates chronic inflammation with a number of diseases ranging from heart disease and dementia to gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. Fortunately, cocoa has been proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Dark chocolate and weight control

It’s not a secret that obesity is a huge and growing problem in the United States and other developed countries. Fortunately. cocoa appears to possess different properties that can reduce weight gain in the body. It may also have appetite suppressant properties.

Oral health benefits

There has long been a misconception that chocolate contributes to caries.  While it’s probably true that low-grade, refined sugar-laden chocolate certainly can contribute to decay, research suggests that dark chocolate actually helps fight tooth decay.

4 comments:

DagneyTaggert said...

Hi, my name is Georgette. And I am addicted to chocolate.

HI GEORGETTE!!!

My addiction tells me it's actually okay to have chocolate, that it's good for you, healthy. My addiction tells me chocolate is a superfood.

Girl, you crack me up, that is some awesome denial! And I am going to bake those tomorrow night.

Megan said...

You speak wonderful words. Dark chocolate is something I always keep in the house...and in my desk...and in my purse...and welcome back!!

Dev said...

Hmm.

Antioxidant Health Benefits: Studies have shown that if you use the word antioxidant enough, people will generally accept whatever point you're making without actually reading the fine print. In this case, antioxidants not only have generic health benefits I'm not going to spell out, they're a neat way to help you convince yourself brownies are healthy!

Fat Content: Brownies have no fat in them at all. None. Except for the butter. And the chocolate. And... Wait, chocolate's different.

Chocolate Is Different: Chocolate doesn't make you fat. i promise. Chocolate makes you SEXY. And who doesn't love sexy?

I say, if you want a brownie, eat a brownie! I don't need an excuse to eat a brownie, and neither should anyone else! BROWNIES! YEAH!

Of course, for every brownie you eat, that's an extra hour at open mat to pay The Man. :)

Welcome back. :)

Shark Girl said...

Oh, God! Dark chocolate! Took the kids to Hershey Park last week. The Hershey Propaganda Machine was trying to sell me on how good and healthy milk chocolate was for you. I ran to the nearest store and bought a bar of 87%. I quivered with ecstasy at each bite. Dark Chocolate, if lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right.