• Sandra Groves

A chocolate hit will lift your mood this Winter


Most people have a special cake or dessert that they enjoy and love making. Right? The "Mississipi mud pie" is mine. A wonderfully rich pie that's always guaranteed to satisfy my sweet tooth. The key ingredient in the mud pie is 'dark chocolate.' According to two studies earlier this year dark chocolate can improve stress, mood, memory and immunity.

Dark chocolate has high concentrations of cacao which can have a positive effect on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. The studies claim that a minimum of 70% cacao can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health. If you're a chocoholic like me, then this is good news. Researchers claim you can indulge in up to two squares of dark chocolate daily. Just avoid eating the whole bar to keep calories in check. Choose chocolate that's at least 70 percent cacao to enjoy the full benefits.

This also raises the question: should I buy organic dark chocolate? Truly healthy dark chocolate will contain only a handful of ingredients. It won't contain fructose, corn syrup, chemical additives, artificial colour or flavourings, or any other artificial ingredients. Some reputable organic brands include: Green & Black's, Lindt, Trader Joe's Fair Trade Organic and Vosges. Fair trade certification on any products ensures that farmers receive a fair price and that no slave or child labour was used.

So, if you're looking for a mid-winter chocolate treat try making your favourite. I know mud pie is one chocolate treat that's going to lift my mood and get me out of the doldrums this winter.

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." Ernestine Ulmer


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