The Benefits of Dark Chocolate…and a Fudge Recipe You Can Feel Great About!

The health benefits of cocoa, or chocolate, are partially derived from the significant polyphenol content.  In the case of dark chocolate, we see both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.  Dark chocolate is also a significant source of dietary magnesium, which is important for optimal heart, muscle, and brain health.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here is also some of the newer research looking at chocolate’s positive effect on the gut microbiome as part of its beneficial effect in the body.  Also just in time for Valentine’s Day – a delicious vegan fudge recipe to share with those you love!  It’s always a giant hit at our office!

Oxid Med Cell Longevity. 2018

Dark Chocolate Intake Positively Modulates Redox Status and Markers of Muscular Damage in Elite Football Athletes: A Randomized Controlled Study.

“Results indicate that polyphenol-rich nutrient supplementation by means of dark chocolate positively modulates redox status and reduced exercise-induced muscular injury biomarkers in elite football athletes”

Current Pharm Design Journal 2017.

The Relevance of Dietary Polyphenols in Cardiovascular Protection.

“Following cocoa and dark chocolate ingestion, cocoa polyphenols modulate intestinal microbiota, thus leading to the growth of bacteria that trigger a tolerogenic anti-inflammatory pathway in the host”

Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Fudge


  • 1/2 cup coconut/palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1.5 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of sea salt

Line a loaf pan with tin foil or wax paper.
Gently melt coconut oil on the stove top over low heat and stir in sugar of choice to dissolve. Add the rest of the ingredients (cocoa powder last) and whisk or use an immersion blender to make smooth (do not over-blend). Pour into lined loaf pan and refrigerate.  Remove when solid (at least 3 hours); remove sheet of fudge from pan and cut into squares.  Can top with coarse sea salt, lemon zest, roughly chopped coffee bean, dried berry, or anything else you like. Store in fridge.  Enjoy!

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