The next time you reach for a piece of Swiss chocolate, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Instead, you should be proud of your sweet tooth, because chocolate is actually good for you. That’s right, despite the belief that eating chocolate could lead to weight gain, you shouldn’t feel bad about indulging once in awhile, as experts have found that chocolate comes with a number of health benefits as well.
Below, we highlight some of the key benefits you can enjoy when you eat chocolate:
Enhanced Heart Health
Chocolate contains flavanols as the main flavonoids and according to research, flavonoids have positive effects that enhance heart health. They help to lower blood pressure and boost blood flow through the heart and brain. Taking swiss chocolate could also contribute to making blood platelets less sticky, which is good as it reduces chances of getting stroke and blood clots.
A study published in the International Journal of Cardiology tested the effects of consuming dark chocolate, and it was revealed that eating flavonoid-rich chocolate improved one’s blood circulation and heart health significantly. Numerous studies have confirmed these same findings, that eating chocolate will contribute to your well-being.
Improved Cognitive Function
Swiss chocolate is among 15 brain foods that help to boost memory and focus. A lot of research has shown acute chronic consumption of flavanol-rich chocolate leads to increased blood flow to the brain, and this has been shown to come with beneficial results that include improvements in cognitive function. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009, dark chocolate comes with the ability to boost cognitive function. It concluded that taking foods that are rich in flavonoids, including chocolate, could help to improve the performance of one’s cognitive abilities.
Better Athletic Performance
More research studies have also investigated the effects of taking chocolate to the athletic performance of an individual and it was revealed that due to the fact that chocolate enhances oxygen availability, people could experience an improvement in athletic performance during workout sessions or even sporting activities. It is good for the heart and it is known that one of the things you need to have perfect performance is good heart health. Chocolate will enhance the flow of blood and this means you will be getting enough oxygen supplied to needed areas for metabolic activities and other functions that work to boost your performance.
A Reduction In Stress
Are you stressed out? Turns out that eating Swiss chocolate can bring down your stress levels. Studies have found that eating dark chocolate discourages the production of the stress hormone, and this can significantly help to reduce stress when you consistently consume chocolate over a period of time. A few pieces each day for one to two weeks can help you overcome anxiety and stress and give you the comfort you need to pursue important tasks.
As you can see, chocolate offers you many benefits that you should be taking advantage of: improving heart health, boosting cognitive functions, improving your athletic performance, or managing stress. So what are you waiting for, grab a piece of chocolate, and enjoy the fact that you’re doing it for your health!
This Mother’s Day, Treat Mom To Breakfast In Bed.. And Maybe Even A Spa Gift Card
It’s hard to believe, but we’re just a few weeks away from Mother’s Day. Do you know what you are getting that special superwoman…
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bays English Muffins, but all opinions are my own.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re just a few weeks away from Mother’s Day. Do you know what you are getting that special superwoman on your list? My suggestion – Start things off on the right foot and treat her to breakfast in bed. She will appreciate the effort.
While the notion of cooking breakfast might seem daunting to some (myself included), there’s no need to panic, as we’ve partnered with Bays® English Muffins, who have provided us with some tasty and delicious Mother’s Day recipes that are easy to make and sure to please!
Trust me, if I can make these dishes, then you can too. See how easy it is for yourself:
If she’s a fan of French Toast, Bays Classic French Toast substitutes boring bread for English muffins. The Mattina Toscana is a restaurant-quality egg sandwich. The Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Spread is perfect for those Mom’s with a sweet tooth. But my personal favorite would have to be the Strawberry Ricotta Balsamic Bites.
Bays English Muffins comes in four different varieties (Original, Sourdough, Multi-Grain and Honey Wheat), so feel free to use whichever one best suits her tastes in your dish. You can find them in your grocer’s refrigerated case next to the eggs – not in the bread aisle.
You can find these recipes and more on Bays website under the recipe tab, but I’ve included the Strawberry Ricotta Balsamic Bites recipe here for your convenience:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 pkg. (4 oz.) goat cheese (or whipped cream cheese)
3 teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided
4 BAYS English Muffins, any variety, split
8 medium strawberries, trimmed, sliced
2-1/2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix ricotta cheese, goat cheese and 2 teaspoons of the lemon rind.
Toast English muffins.
Spread about 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture on each muffin half. Top evenly with strawberries; drizzle with glaze. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon lemon rind, salt and pepper.
But wait, there’s more!
Enter The Bays English Muffins What Mom’s Want Sweepstakes
To make Mother’s Day a little brighter, Bays is hosting an awesome giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive a $200 Spa gift card, so Mom can treat herself to the spa treatment(s) of her choice. Now that’s a gift that is sure to make her happy!
You can enter the contest every day from April 24th to May 13th 2018 on Bays Facebook page. Official rules can be found at Bays.com. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ Bays’ Facebook page, to share your Bays creations and pick up some new ideas.
Get Excited Steak Lovers, You Can Now Buy The World’s Rarest Beef In The US
Forget the age-old question of “Where’s the beef?” A better question is “What’s the rarest beef on Earth and where can I get some of it?” We’ve got you covered. Despite our amazing cattle industry and despite the fact that you can find a quality steakhouse around every corner these days, there’s one type of beef we can’t regularly get here in America.
Genuine Wagyu Beef.
While there are certain types of Wagyu Beef on steakhouse menus here in America, it is rare, and you never know if it’s Wagyu-style beef that’s been grown in America and masquerading Japanese style cattle raising or if it’s imported. However, there’s one specific type of Wagyu beef that has never been available in this country until now, and that’s Olive Wagyu.
So, what’s the deal, why is this beef so rare and praised? Well, the fat content and marbling in Olive Wagyu beef comes from the fact that the cows in Japan eat spent olives used in olive oil production. This results in a piece of beef with amazing softness. It’s hard to find this even in Japan. But now, a company is making Olive Wagyu available to us in the States.
It’s coming courtesy of Crowd Cow. And the catch is that you have to be a member. Existing Crowd Cow customers get the first taste of Olive Wagyu, so maybe it’s time to sign up.
But don’t have a cow man! What isn’t sold to existing customers will go on sale to the public the next day. My mouth is watering just thinking about this!
Michael Symon’s New Cookbook Arrives Just In Time For BBQ Season
Clarkson Potter sent us a copy of Playing With Fire AND is providing a prize pack for one lucky reader!
Just in time for the start of BBQ season, Michael Symon (co-host of The Chew and celebrated Iron Chef and restaurateur) has released his fifth cookbook, Playing With Fire, which covers all things meat!
Playing With Fire focuses on barbecue and live-fire grilling, with 72 recipes inspired by his newest restaurant, Mabel’s BBQ, in his hometown of Cleveland. In preparing to open his barbecue restaurant, Michael Symon enthusiastically sampled smoked meat from across America.
These finger-licking, lip-smacking recipes draw inspiration from his favorites, including dry ribs from Memphis, wet ribs from Nashville, brisket from Texas, pork steak from St. Louis, and burnt ends from Kansas City, as well as the unique and now signature Cleveland-style barbecue that he developed to showcase the flavors of his hometown. Symon offers expert guidance on working with different styles of grills and smokers, cooking various cuts of meat, choosing aromatic woods for smoking, and pairing proteins with rubs, sauces & sides.
If you’re looking for a new guide to classic American barbecue with the volume turned to high, look no further.
Michael Symon cooks with soul, having grown up in a Greek and Sicilian family. The Cleveland native shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. Michael is the chef and owner of more than 18 restaurants, including Lola and Mabel’s BBQ in downtown Cleveland, locals of B-Spot Burgers throughout the Midwest, and Angeline at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
He’s always posting amazing creations on his social media accounts, so you should definitely make sure that you’re following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But be forewarned, his feed will make you hungry.
I’ve long been a fan of Michael Symon and his cooking, so when Clarkson Potter sent us an advanced copy of Playing With Fire, I couldn’t wait to check it out. And let me tell you, the recipes had our mouths watering! Sadly, it’s still freezing outside here in the Northeast (heck, it just snowed last week), so we can’t fire up the grill just yet. But once it warm up, we’ll definitely be trying out some of these dishes for ourselves.
In celebration of the release of Playing With Fire (in stores April 3rd), we’ve partnered with Clarkson Potter for an exciting giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive the following:
- A copy of Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire
- A Cuisinart Deluxe 20-piece grill set
- A barbecue pit mitt glove
To enter, simply leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite barbecue dish is. We’ll pick a winner at random on April 20th at 5pm EST. Contest only open to US residents.