Chew on This


Thursday, February 7, 2019
9am-11am @ Marketplace

Chew on This


(PHYSICAL) Did you know that chocolate is made from the seeds of Theobroma Cacao tree? Unlike milk chocolate, which has a high content of milk fat solids, dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cacao and contains less sugar. Health benefits are seen when consuming dark chocolate containing 70% cacao in small amounts, 1 oz per day. Sorry white chocolate fans, this sweet isn’t even really chocolate.

The ground cacao seeds contain powerful antioxidants (flavonols) and magnesium which have been shown to improve heart health. It is believed that the antioxidants in dark chocolate help reduce inflammation in blood vessels, maintain a healthy heartbeat and can help prevent blood clots. Additionally, regular moderate intake of dark chocolate may also reduce blood pressure levels.

An added bonus, another antioxidant found in dark chocolate, resveratrol, is an immune system booster!

(MENTAL) Remember those anti-inflammatory compounds (flavanols) found in dark chocolate? Turns out they are good for your memory too!

Flavanols are absorbed and accumulate in the areas of your brain known for memory. Ultimately increasing blood flow to the brain and improving communication between brain cells and protecting them from damage. There is also evidence of improved mood among those who regularly consume small amounts of dark chocolate (about an ounce per day) no need to overdo it.

(ENVIRONMENTAL) Did you know that you can better ensure the chocolate you purchase is sustainably produced by looking for certifications like fair trade and Rainforest Alliance Certified? The two largest sustainability issues related to farming cacao (the seeds from which chocolate is made) are deforestation and the extreme poverty experienced by cacao farmers. In an effort to address these issues, many chocolate manufacturers, both large and small, are committing to buying "certified" cacao, which places higher standards on how the crop is grown and sold.


"Chew on This" is a new collaborative event brought to you by Duke Dining and Duke Nutrition Services where we look at how the food we choose affects our physical, mental and environmental health. "Treat Your Heart Right" is the topic at hand for February and we'll be sampling dark chocolate avocado muffins as we celebrate "American Heart Month!"