Monday, July 20, 2009

Healthy Monday: You Don't Have to eat Cardboard

I used to think that the phrase, "like eating cardboard," when referring to a healthy food item was just an expression. But I recently purchased a certain nutritious cracker/bread product, which I won't name here, that literally tasted like cardboard. It was awful! How does that stuff get green lighted? My only guess is that they're a popular snack for the 70 and older crowd, which must be when your taste buds start to disentegrate.

Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy foods available to us that taste rather pleasant. Strawberries, artichokes, almonds, wheat bread - they are all quite good for you in moderation. But what about something that satisfies our sweet tooths a little more? Did you know there are benefits to eating dark chocolate? Who knew that sneaky, cavity inducing culprit was really a good natured, health food when enjoyed in moderation? Okay, maybe labeling it a "health food" is a bit of a stretch, but according to Italy's National Institute for Food and Nutrition, it is a powerful antioxidant (1). And a recent Harvard study found that dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain and heart. It's also high in a compound called "cocoa phenols," which is responsible for lowering mild high blood pressure, a common ailment for the middle agers out there(2).

Photo: Chocolove. They now offer mini-chocolate bars, perfect for favors!

Sources: (1) WebMd (2) Harvard Health Publications

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