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No doubt by this time you well know that chocolate (especially the dark variety) is a good thing when a part of your healthy eating plan. Some vital statistics:

1. The recommended daily intake of cocoa flavanols is 375mg. Some cocoa extract supplements will deliver the recommended dose, but leave much to be desired flavorwise. Enjoy a few bites of dark chocolate for the same benefit, plus the added flavor! The 375mg level has proven to support healthy blood flow, thus promoting a healthy heart.

2. To optimally benefit your heart health, consume chocolate made with at least 70% cacao.

3. Chocolate made with 65% percent cacao is considered dark chocolate. Research tells us eating this dark treat actually curbs cravings for not only sweets, but for the salty foods that can cause blood pressure spikes.

4. Dark chocolate is known to boost good HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL. It reduces blood pressure while boosting brain health. And it has the uncanny ability to enhance our moods, too!

5. While milk and dark chocolate have very similar fat content, the caloric content of a square of dark chocolate is 180, while a similar portion of milk chocolate is more than 200.

6. Each American currently consumes an average of 9.5 pounds of chocolate annually. We are no competition for the Swiss, however, as their average consumption is just short of 20 pounds per year.

7. Chocolate is a stress reliever, and the little sugar rush that comes with it might be just enough to get you through your day a little happier and a little less frazzled.

“SWEET MEMORIES” CENTER PIECES ARE WHITE CHOCOLATE with chunks of CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES  OUTER PIECES ARE  BANANA SPLIT WITH 2 LAYERS — 1 EACH OF: BANANA CREAM & CHOCOLATE CREAM  THE OTHER PIECE IS DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRY SMOOTH DARK CHOCOLATE MADE EXTRA CREAMY  WITH COCONUT & CHERRY OILS  TROUBLING THOUGHT: If cherry oil comes from cherries, and coconut oil comes from coconuts, where does baby oil come from? Try not to think about it . . . just enjoy this month’s selections!

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Tracie Burket
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