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Chocolate Is Good For Your Health

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Chocolate Is Good For Your Health

dark chocolate

Many of us chocolate lovers have heard that chocolate has a reputation of being bad and unhealthy. Over the last few years, however, new research has shown that chocolate is GOOD for your health.  Don’t know about you, but I am beyond happy!  And, I’m pretty certain I already knew that…I mean, how could something sooo delicious and natural be bad for you?

Did you know that the earliest use of chocolate dates back to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica?  That would be from from c. 1200 BCE to c. 400 BCE.  Centered in the Gulf of Mexico, their influence and trade activity spread from 1200 BCE, even reaching as far south as present-day Nicaragua. Among the many trades was chocolate  which would be passed on to all those who followed this first great Mesoamerican civilization.

The Study

A study at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was focused on blood platelets and blood clots. The study participants, some of whom were fond of eating chocolate, were given a list of foods to avoid – the list included chocolate. It seems that some of the participants ended up indulging in their cravings for chocolate during the study. Amazingly, their indulgence led researchers to an important discovery which is believed to be the first of its kind.

The Analysis

Through biochemical analysis, the researchers were able to explain why just a few squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by almost 50%. It turns out that the chocolate decreases the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels. “What these chocolate ‘offenders’ taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,” says Diane Becker, M.P.H., Sc.D., a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Becker cautions that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up large amounts of chocolate candy, which often contains diet-busting amounts of sugar, butter and cream.

Benefits Of Chocolate

coco beans

Cacao beans, which chocolate is made from, are loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E along with magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. Cacao is also known to contain one of the highest amounts of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral required to maintain muscle and nerve function, build strong bones, and keep our immune system fighting strong.

The potential benefits of eating chocolate include:

  • lowering cholesterol levels
  • preventing cognitive decline
  • reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Dark Chocolate

As little as 2 tablespoons a day of dark chocolate – the purest form of the candy, made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans – may be just what the doctor ordered.  Dark chocolate offers one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants among commonly consumed foods. These antioxidants destroy free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments. Dark chocolate has also been known to lower blood pressure by a significant amount and act as an anti-inflammatory against present in chronic conditions like arthritis. And for the chocolate lover in all of us, that is a sweet thing!

What Kind of Chocolate Should I Eat?

The closer your chocolate/cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimize its nutritional value by looking for higher cacao and lower sugar content. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao.    Your goal  is to find a chocolate that’s as minimally processed as possible, without a lot of sugar or chemicals.  Milk chocolate is not a good choice as it contains pasteurized milk, which is not good for you, and large quantities of sugar. White chocolate is also high in sugar and contains none of the phytonutrients, so is not a good choice either. Dark chocolate is your best option.

Your best choice would be to go organic and all natural.  I offer some suggestions at the end of the article.

How Much Chocolate Can I Eat?

The recommended “dosage” of chocolate is 3-4 oz per day, and in divided doses.  In general, it seems preferable to consume smaller amounts of chocolate at more frequent intervals, much like the principle of split dosing for supplements, in order to ensure a steadier stream of nutrients in your bloodstream.

Summary

So, how relieved are you to know that chocolate is good for your health?  Dark chocolate is my favorite and I try to limit my intake to a small handful of Coco Cherry Phi treats (see below)per day.  I try; I’m not saying I always succeed.  So, remember this and the next time your friends tell you that you shouldn’t be eating that chocolate candy, you can tell them it’s on your health food plan!

Food For Thought

Why not try one of these delicious healthy treats?  They are classified as organic, all natural, vegan, raw, soy FREE and non GMO!

Coco Cherry Phi from Wholefood Farmacy

coco cherry phi

Description

Organic Coco Cherry Phi is a delicious sweet treat without the guilt. This delicious treat has antioxidants, raw nutrients, and whole grain goodness. It is a perfect treat for anyone and everyone who can’t say no to chocolate.

Ingredients: Dates, Bing Cherries, Rolled Oats, Thompson Raisins, Cane Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Prunes, Walnut Pieces, Pecan, Brazil Nuts, Brown Rice Flour, Raspberries Whole, Salt, Figs, Walnut Oil, Grape Seed Oil

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1oz (28g)
Servings per container 8
Amount per Serving
Calories 100 | Calories from fat 25
*Daily Value %
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g%
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg% 0%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Potassium 100mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Sugars 13g
Protein 2g 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

V Force from Wholefood Farmacy

V Force

Description

V-Force is a delicious chocolate green drink designed for kids and the kid at heart. V-Force offers smooth, clean energy combined with whole body nutritional support. In just one serving, V-Force provides the antioxidant power of 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Its taste will bring back fond memories of drinking chocolate milk as a kid.

Ingredients:
NUTRIENT DENSE SUPERFOODS: Moringa Leaf Powder, Carrot Juice Powder, Organic Barley Grass Juice Powder, Organic Beet Juice Powder, Spirulina Powder,Chlorella-Cracked Cell.

ANTIOXIDANT BLEND: Decaffeinated Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Powder, Vitamin C with Rose Hips, Strawberry Juice Powder, Acerola Berry Juice Powder, Blackberry Juice Powder, Fig Powder, Pineapple Juice Powder, Orange Juice Powder, Bioflavonoids (Citrus), Papaya Powder, Blueberry Powder, Red Raspberry Powder, Turmeric Powder, Ginger Powder -Freeze Dried, Aloe Vera-Freeze Dried, Green Tea Catechins-40%, Rosemary.

FIBER BLEND: Apple Fiber, Apple Pectin, Rice Bran Powder, Organic Flax Seed Meal.

BALANCING SUPOPORT: Soy Lecithin Powder -99% Oil Free, Parsley Juice Powder, Agar-Agar, Cinnamon, Burdock, Stevia, Dandelion, Silymarin (Milk Thistle 80% extract), Nova Scotia Dulse.

IMMUNE SUPPORT: Non-Dairy Probiotic Culture – 2.23 Billion.

PROPRIETARY BLEND: Nettie Leaves, Chicory, Astragalus Membranaceus, Quercetin, Plant Enzymes: Lipase, Protease, Amylase & Celluase.

Also contains natural french vanilla.

Nutrition Summary

Serving Size .32oz (9g)
Servings per container 30
Amount per Serving
Calories 36 | Calories from fat 5
*Daily Value %
Total Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 33mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2.25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 1.2g 4.80%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

 Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bar, Dark 85% Cacao, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 10)

nutrition facts green and black

Description
Green & Black’s Dark 85% organic dark chocolate is perfect for the chocolate lover who wants to experience the full, intense flavor of organic cocoa combined with the best ingredients.  Made with  85% cocoa solids balanced with just enough sweetness to bring out a unique and memorable taste and finish it with a delightful touch of organic vanilla. A pack of 10 makes it easy to keep this special treat on hand.
  • 85% cocoa
  • Certified Organic
  • Fair Trade
  • Vegetarian
  • Comes in a pack of 10

Ingredients

Suitable for Vegetarians.  Contains Milk.  Contains Soy.  MAY CONTAIN HAZELNUTS, ALMONDS, BRAZIL NUTS, CASHEWS, PISTACHIOS, SOY AND WHEAT. Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Whole Milk Powder

What’s your favorite chocolate candy?  Do you prefer milk or dark chocolate?  Share your thoughts below!

Be Well!

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10 thoughts on “Chocolate Is Good For Your Health

  1. Hi Barb, nice post here!

    I too, am a die-hard chocolate lover. Anything from chocolate brownies to chocolate ice-cream cake, it is almost impossible for me to resist it. Hence, it is great to know that chocolate has its health benefits as well!

    But what do you think about the chocolate treats that are being sold in supermarkets? Like cadbury and hershey’s etc. Do you think they are healthy in any way? Or does it only apply to a specific preparation of chocolate, in order for it to yield the health benefits?

    Thanks, and all the best to your site!

    • Hey, Farhan! I would say to avoid the brownies and icecream…sorry, but too much added sugar and bad carbs there! I would recommend an organic choc, with less sugar and purer ingredients. You def want quality, here! I think the recommendation is 3-4 oz per day, in divided doses. So, choose your chocolate fix carefully!

      Thanks for stopping in and asking such a valid question!

      Be Well!

      Barb

  2. WOW – never knew chocolate was so good – lol, for us. Unfortunately, I love the wrong kind. I will definitely keep the organic and dark chocolate in mind, especially since I am a diabetic.

    Is there a better choice fro diabetics?

    Thanks

    • Hey, Edwin! Good question…Dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, so you can eat a little more of it if you’re controlling your sugar intake. And, you should probably stick with organic as much as possible. The purer the better!
      Be Well!
      Barb

  3. As if I really needed an excuse to indulge in chocolate… I copied this from your post: The potential benefits of eating chocolate include:

    lowering cholesterol levels
    preventing cognitive decline
    reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
    LOL Seriously, you do have some good information here. Enjoyed your post.

  4. Love your article, I am a big chocolate lover myself so you know how this makes me feel less guilty eating my chocolate now.

    Your chocolate goodies sure do look tempting, I have never seen or heard of these before so these are something new for me to try.

    I eat chocolate a few times per week, do you think this is enough?

    • Excellent! So happy you enjoyed the good news! ha ha The daily recommendation for dark chocolate is 2 Tablespoons for maximum benefits. So, feel free to increase your intake! I try to only eat organic dark chocolate, at least 72% cocoa. It doesn’t always taste the best, as it’s not as sweet, but it better for you and I’ve learned to appreciate the taste.

      Thanks so much for reading and taking time to post on my article!

      Be Well,

      Barb

  5. Chocolate is the supreme substance of the universe! Raw cacao is one of my favorite ingredients and around 4pm every day, I start to crave it. I’ve found several recipes that I keep circling through…but I’m so excited to try the Coco Cherry Phi! omg…they sound amazing! I’m already thinking holidays and ways to keep them healthy. Thanks for the great post. I enjoyed reading it.

    • ha ha Thanks, Jackie! So happy to see someone else so excited about chocolate like me! It really is the “supreme substance of the universe”! Love that! Thanks so much for stopping by and offering your awesome comment! Enjoy that chocolate!

      Be Well,

      Barb

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