The Darker The Chocolate The Better It Is For You!

What Chocolate is Exactly

Cacao refers to the plant, a small evergreen tree of the species Theobroma cacao, which is cultivated for its seeds, also known as cacao beans or cocoa beans. The term “chocolate” refers to the solid food or candy made from a preparation of cacao seeds (typically roasted). If the cacao seeds are not roasted, then you have “raw chocolate,” which is also typically sweetened.

Cocoa, on the other hand, refers to the powder made from roasted, husked, and ground cacao seeds, from which most of the fat has been removed. Knowing the meaning of these terms is important, because if you think you’re improving your health by eating typical chocolate candies, you’re being misled.

That being said, however, certain types of chocolate, as well as cocoa powder and cacao, are turning out to be powerful superfoods right up there among the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods known to mankind.
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How to make sure your choosing the right Cocoa

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Raw Cacao is the most nutritious form of Chocolate, but most of the health studies to date involve consumption of cocoa or chocolate, not raw cacao. The results are STILL amazing. This fact suggests a good portion of the nutritional benefit of chocolate is retained after processing.

The goal when selecting your dark chocolate it to make sure it  has been minimally processed, but still pleasant to taste. The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value.

Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw. When selecting chocolate, you can maximize its nutritional value by looking for higher cacao and lower sugar content. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. However, cacao is fairly bitter, so the higher the percentage cacao, the more bitter it is. To counteract the bitterness, most chocolate is sweetened, so it’s a matter of balancing nutritional benefit with palatability.

*Choose chocolate with a cocoa/cacao percentage of about 70 or higher

In general, it is preferable to consume smaller amounts of chocolate at more frequent intervals, in order to ensure a steadier stream of nutrients in your bloodstream.As long as you aren’t going overboard in quantity and as long as you’re eating high-quality chocolate you should see improved health.

 

7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  1. Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious :
    It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):

    • 11 grams of fiber.
    • 67% of the RDA for Iron.
    • 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
    • 89% of the RDA for Copper.
    • 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
    • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

    100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something you should be consuming daily. All these nutrients also come along with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar

  2. Dark Chocolate is a Powerful Source of Antioxidants:Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. Including polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and many more.
  3. Dark Chocolate May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure
  4. Dark Chocolate Raises HDL and Protects LDL Against Oxidation:Dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. In a controlled trial, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men.It also increased High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lowered total Low-density lipoprotein0 (LDL) in men with elevated cholesterol (9). Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
  5. Dark Chocolate May Lower The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease:Long time consumption of Dark chocolate,should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries and we should result in a lower risk of heart disease over the long term. In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period (16).
  6. Dark Chocolate May Protect Your Skin Against The Sun:The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.The flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.
  7. Dark Chocolate May Improve Brain Function



Want to give it a try?

There are tons of Chocolate bars that you can purchase that contain 70 percent or higher  cocoa/cacao. Here is some of the top brands you can try:

pascha

Pascha

Organic, fair trade, non-GMO dark chocolate. No soy lecithin. Range of 55%-85

 

 

 

 

scharffen

Scharffen Berger

Atrisan US chocolate company (owned by Hershey).

Selection of chocolate squares and bars (from 62% up to 82% cacao),

 

 

 

 

greenandblacks

Green & Blacks

70% Cacao and 85% Cacao bars. Organic and sometimes fair trade (e.g. Maya Gold).

The 70% includes Soy Lecithin. There are no genetically modified ingredients.

 

 



Make your own Dark Chocolate at home! Remember The Darker The Better!

High quality Dark chocolate can be expensive a great alternative is making your own at home. This also gives you the advantage of making the taste of the chocolate to your taste.

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About the Writer

jayauthor-blog-resizedJay Author is passionate about sharing his knowledge about superfoods through various medium like articles, video, books etc. A majority of this information is being offered as Free for the benefit of our readers and customers. You can learn more about Jay Author's upcoming books at www.JayAuthor.com

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References

https://healthyeater.com/dark-chocolate-best-and-worst

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-find-good-quality-chocolate

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

DISCLAIMER: This website is for infotainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified health professional. This site assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. The statements regarding alternative treatments for any type of health related topics have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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