Chocolate is Healthy & You Should Eat It Often!
How often do you eat chocolate? Weekly? Daily? I personally have always loved chocolate and eat it a few times a week in some form. Did you know that chocolate is actually HEALTHY for you? Now, of course, it depends on what other ingredients are in your chocolate, you know… sugar, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, non organic dairy, etc. But here are a few things you probably didn’t know about chocolate and some of it’s wonderful benefits, too.
Chocolate is popular worldwide and prepared in so many different ways. It’s often considered the gift of love given during major commercialized holidays. Who doesn’t like getting chocolate as a gift?
Did you know? Scientifically speaking, chocolate can also sooth coughs better than prescription cough syrup! Chocolate forms a sticky coating that protects the nerve endings in your throat that cause you to cough. When chocolate is melted, it allows cough suppressing ingredients, which are present in cocoa, to sooth throat nerves and calm them down. Read more about that here.
The percentage written on a bar of chocolate tells you how much of that bar is actually cacao bean. If you have a bar that says 70% then it means that 30% of that bar is made of fillers and mostly sugar. So, the higher the percentage, the less sugar and fillers.
The majority of chocolate that is consumed is milk chocolate. Milk chocolate also contains milk or cream in addition to cocoa beans and sugar. Depending on the brand, though, it can contain filler ingredients that aren’t necessarily good for you. In my opinion, this negates the benefits of chocolate itself.
Look for chocolate bars or chocolate, in general, that has a higher percentage, but realize that the higher the percentage, the less sweet it will be.
I prefer the dark side… of chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. The cacao bean is what contains the benefits. Dark chocolate contains minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium. It also contains flavonoids which provide anti-inflammatory, brain boosting and even mood lifting properties. I’ll wait here why you go get a piece of dark chocolate to eat while you finish reading the rest.
Looking at the ingredients is another key to the benefits of chocolate. It’s best to avoid if the first ingredient is sugar, if it contains food coloring or if the ingredient list is lengthy. When it says dutch-processed or processed with alkali, it has been shown to cut down the antioxidants in the chocolate. Read more.
Choosing the best chocolate can be different for everyone based solely on your taste buds. For some, dark chocolate is just too bitter, while for others milk chocolate is just too sweet. While it’s best to choose darker chocolate due to the reasons listed above, perhaps you can work your way slowly over time to choosing darker chocolates. Also, if choosing a milk chocolate, look for organic chocolate with just a few ingredients.
HERE ARE MY FAVORITE CHOCOLATE BRANDS:
HuKitchen - Organic, Paleo, Gluten Free & Vegan
Evolved Chocolate - Organic, Paleo, Gluten Free & Vegan
Addictive Wellness - Organic, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free & Nut Free
Enjoy Life Foods - Vegan, Gluten Free & Free of 14 Common Allergens
Lily’s Sweets - Vegan options, Gluten Free & Keto friendly