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.
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.