In Search Of...The Chesapeake’s Most Nutritious Chocolates
Feb 03, 2016 02:00PM
● By Melissa Lauren
Darling heart-shaped Calvados truffles from Coco Couture pack a wallop with white chocolate ganache infused with Calvados, an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France. Chalk art from Lolli & Pops’ tasty menu grabs your attention in their old-fashioned candy shoppe.
This February get sweets for your Valentine—and feel good about it! Chocolate has properties that may improve overall wellness. Of course, portion control is key. Cacao is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed that is the basis of chocolate. Scientists have found that chocolate is, in fact, brain food. The flavanols in cacao boost blood flow in key parts of the brain, which improves alertness. Flavanol is an anti-inflammatory and heart protective antioxidant. Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, which helps increase bliss. Chocolate also contains magnesium, which helps protect against osteoporosis. What’s more, cacao has the ability to improve kidney function. What’s Up? combed the Chesapeake in search of the most nutritious chocolates. Following are a sampling of sophisticated chocolates with health perks including a breakdown of special ingredients and their benefits.
Lolli and Pops at Annapolis Mall (Close to Macy’s)2002 Annapolis Mall Road, Annapolis, MD 21401
Lavender truffles include dark chocolate, whipped caramel, and French lavender. Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for treating anxiety and headaches.
Strawberry cheesecake truffles include white chocolate cheesecake ganache and strawberries. Strawberries promote eye health since they are rich in vitamin C. White chocolate contains a good amount of calcium.
These tasteful heels are a whimsical art installation at Coco Couture in Severna Park, which opened May 2015.
The aptly named, Showgirls are stunners! The white chocolate truffles include strawberry and raspberry ganache. Raspberries are rich in fiber and ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that prevent the growth of cancer cells. Raspberries also contain potassium, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Chai White Chocolate Truffles and Ginger Milk Chocolate Truffles from Coco Couture feature a henna-inspired Persian design element. Chai contains black tea, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, and black pepper. These herbs are anti-inflammatory agents with antioxidant powers that help prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory that helps with digestion and helps fight the flu and common cold.
Whole Foods stocks organic chocolates that taste good and are good for you.
Chili Chocolate by Theo is Organic Fair Trade chocolate without GMOs. This bar has a spicy kick and the chili contains up to seven times the vitamin C level of an orange. Chili can relieve migraines and nerve pain. Green & Black’s Organic Mint Chocolate bar has 60 percent cacao content and is infused with peppermint oil. Peppermint relaxes muscles, aids digestion, and helps to ease breathing. Éclat Chocolate’s Spanish Caramelized Hazelnuts Dark Chocolate bar is 65 percent dark chocolate. Hazelnuts are rich in dietary fiber and contain Folate, an important B-complex vitamin, and Iron, which both help to prevent anemia. They are also gluten free! Vosges Super Dark Matcha Green Tea Chocolate bar is 72 percent cacao. Green tea improves brain function and is loaded with antioxidants. It also reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
The Blood Orange Bar is a dark chocolate bar made with Olivins' Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil created by A Dream of Chocolate in Parkville, Maryland. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Olive oil includes a variety of polyphenols, which have been shown to function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body.
Chesapeake Chocolate features handmade chocolates by a professional chocolatier who has been churning out the sweet stuff for more than 20 years. Dark chocolate may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease since the compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against bad cholesterol (LDL).
The Apple Pie Apple is a large Granny Smith apple dunked in homemade caramel, covered in gourmet white chocolate, and topped with cinnamon and sugar. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure and is rich in antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
The Triple Chocolate Apple is a large Granny Smith apple dunked in homemade caramel, topped with drizzles in milk, dark, and white chocolate. Apples are high in fiber, which helps with digestion and lowers cholesterol levels.
Dark chocolate- and milk chocolate-covered pretzels covered with peanuts are a healthy snack when one limits the portion to just two pretzels. Pretzels are low in fat and contain calcium that is needed for strong bones and teeth. Peanuts contain resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant that lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
Oh My Chocolate’s signature Bride & Groom Marshmallow Sticks are fluffy and stylish! Marshmallows are pretty much pure sugar. Although, there may not be many health benefits from these special treats, if you’re celebrating your special day with your valentine, we give you our blessing to splurge.
What’s Up? does not give medical advice. This material is simply a discussion of current information, trends, and topics. Please seek the advice of a physician before making any change to your lifestyle or routine.