What You, your health and dark chocolate have in common.
Some people out in the world just don’t like chocolate. I am NOT one of those people. I would shout my love for dark chocolate from the tallest rooftop if I wouldn’t get arrested for trespassing … But truly most chocolate lovers would agree. There are so many different types of chocolate to suit different chocolate tastes and budgets; that is proof enough. I personally love a cup of dark, rich European hot cocoa. I replaced my java addiction to satisfy my daily chocolate craving.
There are also some of you who think chocolate is bad for you. If you are one of THOSE people, you are sorely mistaken. White chocolate and milk chocolate can really ramp up the fat content while dark chocolate keeps it much lower. 70% cocoa content is what you want to gain some of the great health benefits that dark soft goodness boasts. Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy chocolate in small amounts. A quality European dark hot chocolate is a great way to get your daily dose. If you’re not used to that high of a cocoa content, start with a 55% or 60%, and help your pallet understand the beauty of chocolate. Take small bites. Let it melt in your mouth and savor that bitter richness. Ok… Now I’m drooling.
How does one improve their health with a daily dose of dark chocolate? These are the sinfully, delicious facts:
Dark Healthy Chocolate contains vital minerals and vitamins such as:
Magnesium, fiber, iron, copper, fiber, iron manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Do you need help with insulin resistance and diabetes? Dark chocolate is here for you. An Italian study that focused on 15 people who ate about 3 ounces of dark chocolate a day for 15 days, significantly lowered their insulin resistance.
- The iron contained in dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, Improving cognitive functions.
- The flavonoids in found in dark chocolate help arteries relax, improving blood flow, and prevent blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Aging symptoms can help be controlled due to the antioxidants improving blood flow, therefore fighting wrinkles, and protecting against harsh UV damage.
- Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Dark chocolate is a probiotic and helps improve gastrointestinal flora.
- Contains 8X the antioxidants found in strawberries.
- Reduces stress hormones and releases that feel-good dopamine.
- It helps you sleep! Chocolate enhances the action of the transmitters in the brain that regulate serotonin to regulate mood and sleep.
- Considered one of the most effective aphrodisiacs and one of the best foods to boost your sex life.
How do you tell if you’re picking good or bad chocolate? Pure dark chocolate will never have sugar listed as one of the first ingredients. It should always be listed after cocoa. A true good chocolate will always list cocoa first. Some of the cheaper chocolates like Nestle, Dove, Hershey’s who boast dark chocolate, would like you to think they are the best. Don’t be fooled many of the cheaper chocolates are chock full of sugar and milk and chemicals. They are also processed with alkali. There also some brands of chocolate wafers that contain wax instead of real cocoa butter. Gross. Check those labels!
For some of the very best, make sure to try and find a dark chocolate that is Fair Trade. What is Fair Trade Chocolate? “Cocoa farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to middlemen who rig scales or misrepresent prices, and media reports of child slavery show the stark contrast between the delicious treat and the severe conditions of the people who produce it. Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavors of the region, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor.” Make sure to choose a dark chocolate that is low in sugar, and high in cocoa content like 70% cocoa quality hot chocolate mix.
Did I do it? Have I convinced you to add healthy chocolate to your daily diet? Drink it, eat it, bathe in it… wait… maybe don’t bathe in it. Cleaning the tub would be a pain.
So next time you’re in the grocery store avoiding the candy aisle, make a beeline towards that dark chocolate and grab a bar… or two!
Also published on Medium.