Eat Dark Chocolate
We all want more reasons to eat chocolate, right? Well you can justify those bites with this tidbit.
Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which provide many antioxidants that help your skin neutralize free radicals before they damage the structures of your skin that keep it tight and youthful looking. Chocolate is thought to improve your skin’s ability to fight wrinkles for the same reason is it linked to improving heart health: it fights inflammation. When free radical damage triggers an inflammatory response in your body, the results may be redness and puffy skin.
Before you start stuffing your purse with Mars Bars, keep in mind that dark chocolate reaps you the most benefits since it is less processed than milk chocolate. Go for at least 60% higher cocoa content, and try to work your way up to 90% cocoa. Your tastebuds will adjust to the slight bitterness! And your skin and heart will thank you.
Experts recommend eating one square of dark chocolate a day. For something more decadent, try this healthy dessert recipe from The Beauty Diet by Lisa Drayer, RD. This New-York based beauty nutritionist is also the author of Strong, Slim, and 30!
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Bananas
Makes 4 servings (2 banana halves each)
4 medium bananas
4 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent cacao)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
Peel the bananas and cut in half crosswise. Place on wax paper. Melt the chocolate and salt in a microwave-safe dish in 30-second intervals until soft; stir until smooth. Dip one side of the banana in the chocolate and place, chocolate side up, on the wax paper in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or until the chocolate is hard and the bananas are semi frozen.
Per serving: 285 calories; 4 g protein; 36 carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 22 g sugars; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 76 mg sodium; 10 mg calcium
Skin-boosting nutrients: 0.4 omega-3 fats; 76 IU vitamin A; 10 mg vitamin C; 0.1 mg vitamin E