Blog / Recipes

What’s the best type of chocolate to give on Valentine’s Day?

In short, the answer is: Whatever type of chocolate he/she enjoys! After all, Valentine’s Day comes but once a year!

But if your decision is at all swayed by health, then take a look at the options below.

Cocoa nibs: These are cocoa beans that have been roasted and then broken into small pieces. Cocoa naturally contains a special type of antioxidant that appears to be heart healthy because it lowers blood pressure and keeps our blood vessels healthy. Expect a crunchy, chocolately flavour that’s slightly bitter. Think chocolate without any added sugar. Add them to salads, yogurt, trail mix or baked recipes.

Dark chocolate: After cocoa nibs, dark chocolate has the next highest flavonoid content. Research shows that 50 to 100 grams of dark chocolate may have heart health benefits. Look for dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids – the higher the percentage, the higher the antioxidant content.

Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate contains added milk and sugar. There’s still about 25% cocoa solids but it pales in comparison to dark chocolate. In fact, dark chocolate contains 7 times more antioxidants than milk chocolate.

White chocolate: Sorry, but white chocolate isn’t made from cocoa beans at all. Rather, it’s simply cocoa butter so there’s no flavonoids.

Whichever chocolate you prefer, keep in mind that the calories and fat do add up quickly. Even 50 grams of dark chocolate can ring in almost 300 calories and 20-30 grams of fat, so enjoy it in moderation!

Watch my chocolate interview with Steven and Chris.

Book Review – Unmasking Superfoods – by Jennifer Sygo, MSc., RD

It’s not always easy to find a nutrition book that’s easy to read and backed by credible research. But Sygo does just that. In Unmasking Superfoods, Sygo separates the truth from the hype behind some of today’s superfoods such as acai, noni, quinoa and the increasingly popular coconut oil. She also gives a shout out to kiwi, pistachios and mussels, calling them underappreciated superfoods. In another chapter of the book, Sygo offers a sound perspective on beef, eggs, potatoes and other foods which she feels have been given a bad rap.

For each superfood, you’ll learn about the backstory, the nutritional profile, the science-based health impacts, and finally the bottom line. Unmasking Superfoods is literally a mini nutrition encyclopedia for consumers and health professionals alike. It’s a keeper on my bookshelf.

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