Dark chocolate is receiving accolades as the medical community and researchers continue to discover possible health benefits of limited consumption of dark chocolate.

It is yummy news for families.

Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate is Healthy Chocolate. The online doctors say so at WebMD. It's good for blood pressure, and contains lots of antioxidents to help fight heart disease — contributing to cardiovascular health.

According to the Cleveland Clinic in the article Heart-Healthy Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled, only certain types of chocolate are considered healthy. Again, antioxidants are given credit, but candy bars and other forms of milk chocolate have less of the healthy ingredients with all of that processing. Stay away from regular use of candy bars and milk chocolate candy, and stick with about 1 oz of dark chocolate a few times each week.

Dr. Andrew Weil suggests dark chocolate as a great gift for moms on Mother's Day, noting that its polyphenols may help with proper cholesterol levels, as well as possibly lowering the risk for pre-eclampsia. For the best quality, the good doctor recommends imported chocolates:

"If your mother enjoys chocolate, go ahead and give some for Mother's Day, not candies or truffles, but bars of the good stuff — dark chocolate imported from Belgium, France, Italy, or Venezuela is so richly delicious that a single piece as a snack or after-dinner treat will be more than satisfying."

Dr. Weil also includes small amounts of dark chocolate in his Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.

Dark Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate Nut Bark. All you need are nuts, and bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate Fondue. Yummy, yummy dip for pineapples and strawberries.

Dark Chocolate Cake. This one gets great ratings from over 1,000 users at AllRecipes.

Dark Chocolate as Part of a Healthy Diet

Delicious ideas for dark chocolate snacks and treats:

  • A small square of dark chocolate with fruit or crackers
  • Dark chocolate chunks in whole grain breakfast muffins
  • A piece of dark chocolate bar with a glass of milk
  • Dark chocolate chips or chunks as an alternative to milk chocolate chips in cookies
  • Dark chocolate shavings with fruit or yogurt