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The Gift of Food Can Improve Your Health

This Gift of Food Can Improve Your Health When Eaten Responsibly.

No it’s not broccoli or spinach, although eating more of these veggies would improve your health. It’s actually chocolate. Whew! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the health benefits of eating chocolate, how much to eat and how to choose the best chocolate for your health.

When I lived in Chicago, Illinois my home was a ten-minute walk from a company called Blommer’s Chocolate Factory. Blommer’s is the largest industrial chocolate manufacturer in North America. When they were roasting the cacao beans and making chocolate the smell in the neighborhood was delicious. At one time there was a website with a map to let you know where the smells were headed based on wind direction. I’ve since moved west to Tucson, Arizona but to the best of my recollection, Blommer’s is still there.

Eating chocolate in moderation can be a part of a functional medicine health plan because of its potential health benefits of reducing blood pressure and improving blood vessel flexibility. Chocolate may also improve mood because it raises serotonin levels in the brain.

Here are the 4 guidelines for healthy chocolate consumption.

  1. A quality chocolate bar is primarily cacao beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter. A chocolate bar labeled is 85 % cacao and 15% sugar. Most milk chocolate is less than 50% cacao so that means that the remainder is sugar. Ouch! So, choose higher percentage cacao chocolate.
  2. Limit portions to less than two ounces per day.
  3. Watch the add-ins! Fruits and nuts can be beneficial but caramel is just adding more sugar without any health benefit.
  4. The less ingredients the better. Look for cacao beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter.

Functional medicine is lifestyle medicine.

At Richart Functional Medicine, we use a thorough patient evaluation, simple lab testing, short term supplement programs and lifestyle modification to treat primarily chronic and lifestyle based health conditions usually caused by a stressful and inflammatory lifestyle. Chocolate can be part of a functional health plan when the appropriate quantities, qualities and frequencies of consumption are maintained along with a healthy diet, exercise, stress management and sleep patterns.

May 26, 2023
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Dr. Richart

Welcome to our website! Dr. Robert Richart, D.C., CFMP is a chiropractic physician whose practice is limited to functional medicine via telehealth. He sees patients from the Chicago area as well as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Catalina Foothills, Oro Valley, Marana and all areas of Illinois and Arizona. He offers a free 15-minute consultation to discuss prospective patient’s health problems to see if functional medicine may help them.