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Chocolate: The Ultimate Superfood

31 January 2017
by Giada De Laurentiis
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This powerhouse packs more punch than your average sweet treat.

There's a lot of talk about superfoods these days, super-powered ingredients that deliver more than their fair share of vitamins and other healthy benefits. Many of them can be hard to figure out how to work into your diet — chia seed-kale smoothies aren't for everyone! — but there's one superfood that's so delicious, it's probably already in your pantry: chocolate.

For decades, scientists have studied chocolate's effect on everything from blood pressure to cholesterol, and the news has always been good for us chocolate-lovers. The reason? Cocoa contains antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, the same thing that makes a glass of red wine so good for you (there's a reason they go so well together!). These compounds work to improve your cardiovascular system's function and can even decrease insulin resistance, the cause of diabetes.

All of these benefits are stored in the pure cocoa, so the darker your chocolate, the better it is for you. But I'll admit, I didn't start loving dark chocolate just for its health benefits! I love its deep, rich flavor, and letting a square melt on my tongue is the ultimate indulgence in my book. In fact, I always keep a stash of the stuff in my fridge that rivals what you might find in the grocery store. You never know when you might be in need!

Luckily, the north of Italy is one of Europe’s most renowned chocolate hotspots, so I’ve always got lots of delicious options to choose from. One of my favorites is Guido Gobino’s Extra Bitter Blend bar, crafted from 75% pure dark chocolate from Ecuador, Venezuela, and Madagascar. Gobino’s immaculately made bars are so beautiful, it’s almost a shame to break into one—but I do anyway! And when I need an extra pick-me-up with my afternoon espresso, I reach for their dark chocolate-covered coffee beans. Finally, there’s nothing more nostalgically delicious than a bar of gianduja, the creamy chocolate-hazelnut blend invented in northern Piemonte.



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