A Sweet Heart Healthy Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chips (70% cacao at least)
Place 2/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted. You can also melt it in a pot on the stove (which is a healthier option), just be sure to stir it so it doesn't burn.
Stir 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon into the chocolate.
Dip the lower half of a dozen (or two) strawberries in chocolate, and place on wax paper to harden.
Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, and ENJOY!
The dark chocolate contains polyphenols which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The polyphenols stop one of the steps in the development of plaque in coronary arteries by decreasing the oxidation of LDL which is "bad" cholesterol. This means that the LDL deposited in your arteries, will not be as firmly established and in turn, will be less likely to rupture and clot, thereby decreasing heart attack risk. The polyphenols are also mild platelet inhibitors which means they have a slight blood thinning effect, similar to aspirin.
The cinnamon has blood-sugar lowering effects which can be great if you are a sugar-junkie, pre-diabetic, or diabetic.* It is also a mild blood-thinner. But in order to get these benefits you will need cassia cinnamon (C. cassia), instead of "true cinnamon" (cinnamomum verum).
Strawberries are ranked among the best antioxidant fruits in the world. They are a heart healthy option because they contain an enzyme know as alpha-amylase, which gives them an interesting ability to moderate blood sugar absorption. Our bodies contain amylase, which breaks down sugars into simple glucose for absorption. Strawberries however, prevent this breakdown to some extent, which effects absorption, thereby restricting the degree to which our insulin can spike, which is every helpful in preventing insulin resistance from developing. They also have some omega-3 content.
*Try to buy chocolate that doesn't contain any milk or milkfat content, as they can diminish the benefits of the polyphenols.
*Use The Food Empowerment Project's Chocolate List - to be sure you support non-exploitative chocolate companies.
*If you have liver problems or plan to have surgery soon, stay away from cinnamon.
*If you have diabetes, always consult with your physician. This post does not constitute medical advice.
*Remember to not overload each strawberry with chocolate or you can quickly wrack up the calories.
Post a pic of your scrumptious strawberries! We wanna see you enjoying your heart healthy sweet treat.