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Gifting Chocolate Means Gifting Health

Gifting Chocolate Means Gifting Health

Study reinforces chocolate's heart benefits

Last year, more than 90% of Americans planned to gift chocolate during the holiday season according to the National Confectioners Association, and this year that trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2020. What’s more, if it’s dark chocolate, it means giving the gift of health according to one study from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Previous studies have noted chocolate’s benefits related to stress, keeping your brain sharp, and even improving blood pressure and blood vessel integrity. This study analyzed over 300,000 participants from six studies to learn more about chocolate and coronary artery disease AKA when fatty plaque builds up in arteries causing blockage, inflammation and in extreme cases heart attack.

Researchers found that those who ate chocolate more than once per week had 8% lower risk of coronary artery disease which is in line with prior studies of chocolate and heart health. Although the study did not specify the type of chocolate or serving consumed, we know that the beneficial antioxidants in chocolate (like flavonoids and polyphenols) are found in the cocoa solids and may play a part in reducing inflammation.

To get the most antioxidant benefit from your chocolate, the higher the cacao percentage the better. This holiday instead of a traditional dessert spread, why not set up a chocolate tasting with varying amounts of cocoa. Offering 70% dark chocolate, 55% chocolate and milk chocolate pieces can ensure there is something on the table to please every palate. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our “Un-charcuterie” Dessert Platter. Now that’s a holiday gift worth celebrating.

Published December 2020

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