It’s Valentines Day tomorrow – in case you hadn’t been distracted by all the window displays encased in RED! We are all detoxing at Darling Street Health, so this is hardly fair on us as we are tempted by the chocolate haze. 

However, Emma Sutherland’s “50 Foods That Will Change Your Life” brings us some very delicious news to ease the guilt of a little loving indulgence! 

It’s official – you need to eat chocolate to reach optimal health and vitality! The Aztec’s honored the cacao bean and from it evolved chocolate as we know it. The health properties attributed to chocolate are related to cacao – not the butter, milk, sugar or salt used to make chocolate.

Consuming cacao-rich chocolate has so many benefits. It has a protective effect on our brains as it increases blood flow specifically to the areas responsible for learning and memory. Chocolate consumption reduces the risk of stroke in women. In a review of 42 trials, cacao reduced insulin resistance, probably due to it’s antioxidant effect. This is amazing news for Australia’s diabetes epidemic.

Chocolate contains brilliant levels of magnesium, the most relaxing mineral, which is why you may crave it before your period. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine and anandamide. Phenylethylamine is a chemical that is released by our brains when we are in love and causes us to feel blissful. Awwww!

” ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, BUT A LITTLE CHOCOLATE NOW AND THEN DOESN’T HURT”

– Charles M Schulz  – 

An easy way to get chocolate into your valentines day (apart from smothering it all over your loved one) is to make Emma’s Fruit & Nut Chocolate Bars

Ingredients

400g dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa), melted

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger

2 tablespoons goji berries

Method

  • Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper
  • Add the almonds, ginger, and goji berries to the melted chocolate. Stir well
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and level until smooth
  • Allow to set
  • Cut into 24 squares. Serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 7 days.

Serves 12. Prep Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: Nil

You can find this recipe and so many more in “50 Foods That Will Change Your Life”.