Chocolate on the menu at STEM Café

Everyone knows the old saying about the health benefits of “an apple a day.” But what about “a chocolate bar a day?” At the next STEM Café, “All about Chocolate,” dietitian Lisa Brandt and chocolate entrepreneur Cathy Bouchard will team up to discuss the science and health benefits of one of America’s favorite indulgences.

Email registration is now open for this limited-seating free event, to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Giordano’s, 119 S. Main St. in downtown Naperville. After Brandt and Bouchard’s presentation at Giordano’s, the audience will move down the block to Bouchard’s acclaimed chocolate restaurant, Le Chocolat du Bouchard, 127-129 S. Washington St.

“People often have the perception that healthy eating means cutting out lots of your favorite treats like chocolate,” says Brandt, an in-house dietitian at the Sycamore Hy-Vee. “But there’s a lot of research that shows how eating certain chocolates can have a positive effect on hypertension and heart disease and be a great part of a balanced diet.”

Bouchard discovered her passion for chocolate in the 1990s, when the chronic pain disorder fibromyalgia left her unable to get out of bed. After reading about how ancient cultures had used cacao, the seed from which chocolate is made, as medicine, she started exploring the world of high-grade chocolate. She credits the products she found with helping put an end to her debilitating fibromyalgia symptoms.

“Chocolate might have more of a ‘good side’ than most people realize,” says Judith Dymond, who coordinates the STEM Café series. “Between the two of them, Brandt and Bouchard know exactly how to combine delicious enjoyment with good health practice.”

Seating is limited, so if you plan to attend, email Judy Dymond at jdymond@niu.edu.

Food and drink will be available for purchase from both Giordano’s and Le Chocolat du Bouchard.

Monthly STEM Cafés are one of many programs offered through NIU STEAM Works, part of the university’s Center for P-20 Engagement. Each café provides an opportunity to learn about the science, technology, engineering and mathematics that are a part of our everyday lives.

All STEM Cafés are free and open to the public. For more information, visit niu.edu/stem/programs/stem-cafes, or contact Judy Dymond at jdymond@niu.edu or 779-777-7713.

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