Most people think that chocolate is bad for you – and they would be mostly right. The FDA only requires a minimum of 10% “cocoa bean components” to label the product chocolate. In other words, Hershey’s chocolate bars are out.
Even most chocolates that market 70% cacao content include terrifying ingredients.
You need to read the label to see if it’s healthy for you! (Can’t emphasize that enough!) Most chocolates have sugar (likely from GMO sugar beets), and soy lecithin, just to name a couple of bad ingredients.
Of course there are several good chocolate brands out there, but they are usually purty expensive and found at scarce health food stores.
REAL chocolate, with only 3 basic ingredients, and weighing in between 60-90% cacao truly is healthy for you. Healthy chocolate uses all-natural sweeteners – such as raw honey.
As a side note, the Weston A. Price Foundation does not recommend eating chocolate… in this case, we’re making an exception 🙂
Here’s a short list of why chocolate is so good for you: (I learned this stuff from a class I took from my naturopath)
Good source of magnesium – 3 oz of dark chocolate contains 176- 420 mg. of magnesium depending on the percentage of cocoa.
Heart & Vascular Health – Dark Chocolate is high in the amino acid Arginine which increases Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide in the blood relaxes and dilates the blood vessel muscles and keeps plaque from forming on the artery walls thereby lowering high blood pressure. Arginine also keeps the blood thin by keeping platelet from clumping together abnormally.
Reduces Inflammation – A 2008 study showed that small amounts, one or two squares, of dark chocolate reduced inflammation, which is implicated in heart disease, arthritis and a host of other ailments.
Dementia and Alzheimers – The polyphenols in dark chocolate will very likely delay and prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Appetite Suppression – Dark chocolate is highly satisfying to the appetite and can actually help you to lose weight.
Healthy Skin – Consumption of 2 tablespoons of high quality dark chocolate for 12 weeks resulted in skin that was smoother and more moist, which is important for a more youthful look.
Heart Failure Protection.One 2010 study (of women) showed substantial protection against heart failure, hospitalization, and death in those who ate just an ounce of dark chocolate once or twice per week.
Brain and Vision Improvement – Dark chocolate was found to significantly increase short-term memory and visual brain functions. For example, it improved choice reaction time, spatial memory, visual contrast sensitivity and motion detection for starters. In other words, chocolate is a brain booster!
Medicine – Yes, researchers have actually suggested that dark chocolate could be used as medicine! Researchers studied people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and found that dark chocolate actually saved lives and decreased mortality. The researchers emphasized that it needs to be dark chocolate with at least 60-70% cocoa.
Brain Booster – The studies keep rolling in showing that cocoa is a brain builder. For example, a 2012 study in the journal Hypertension, shows that older people with mild memory problems were significantly helped by consuming dark chocolate. It is important to note that this study showed the benefit ONLY occurring with dark chocolate and that it must be of high quality and low processing.
Insulin Sensitivity – One of the huge battles for most men (over the age of about 40) is managing their blood sugar and insulin levels. Again, high quality dark chocolate is found to increased insulin sensitivity – helping and preventing diabetes.
Calming Effects – Dark Chocolate contains significant amounts of both serotonin and tryptophan, which explains the calming effect of chocolate on many people. The magnesium in dark chocolate also will relax tight muscles.
Did I convince you of the health benefits of real dark chocolate?
There are more benefits I didn’t list but you get the picture. REAL dark chocolate is very good for you! Of course, don’t go and eat a pound of this stuff in one sitting!
Okay, now on to the good stuff! Here’s our amazing recipe, enjoy!