Chocolate Recipes to Die(t) For
Satisfy your cravings with these healthier chocolate recipes
Is chocolate the answer to bad moods, high stress, and broken hearts? Maybe
not, but lots of women feel it comes pretty darn close. A world without
chocolate would be a pretty tasteless place.Chocolate is the superstar of food
cravings: 68% of women's food cravings are for chocolate. (I can tell you that
I, for one, am somewhere in that 68%.) And the time we crave it the most?
Apparently, it's an afternoon delight. Don't even try to get between a woman in
need and a candy bar machine around 3 o'clock!
A recent review study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic
Association said that "chocolate cravings are real." Any woman in
the midst of PMS could have told them that! And ignoring those cravings may not
be such a good idea. A recent study on normal-weight women, published in the
International Journal of Eating Disorders, suggested that forbidding
chocolate only leads to greater temptation -- and greater chocolate
For many, "comfort" is synonymous with chocolate. Some of the
top-rated comfort foods? Try chocolate cookies, chocolate cake, brownies, and
chocolate ice cream. It's no coincidence that both versions of the "Better
Than Sex Cake" recipes that made their way across America several years ago
No food tantalizes the taste buds quite like chocolate. It represents a
divine blend of more than 500 flavors (2 1/2 times more flavors than any other
food!) And no other food has its sensual depth -- even its melting point is
sensual: Chocolate melts almost immediately in response to human touch because
its melting point is just below body temperature.
Couple that with chocolate's other appealing characteristics -- like the
blend of fat and sugar, the smooth texture, and arousing aroma -- and you've
got quite possibly the most alluring food on the planet!
But our attraction to chocolate goes even further than that. There may be a
hormonal link to chocolate cravings, as they often come and go with the monthly
hormonal fluctuations and mood swings of women. There also happen to be several
biologically active substances in chocolate (methylxanthines, biogenic amines,
cannabinoid-like fatty acids) that may cause psychological sensations similar
to addictive substances, according to a study in the Journal of the American
Here's the best news of all: Chocolate may actually be good for you (at
least in the form of cocoa). Cocoa beat out red wine and green and black tea as
having the highest levels of heart-healthy antioxidant activity, according to a
recent study. The researchers also noted that cocoa had much higher levels of
two phytochemicals (total phenolics and flavonoids) than the wine or tea. The
flavonoids found in cocoa are thought to benefit the heart in a couple of ways,
including possible antioxidant protection.