Updated: Apr 10, 2019
The short answer is... yes, in small moderations. Chocolate is the answer to special occasions, birthdays, holidays, last minute gifts, breakups, menstrual cycles, and serious moments of indulgence. We hope we can help you choose the right chocolate, and help you be able to identify your best options and the benefits chocolate can offer!
Where does chocolate come from?
There is a big difference in raw cacao and the chocolate we buy and consume as a treat. Raw cacao in its purest form as zero sugar… ZERO! Cacao trees produce cacao pods, and when you crack them open you can see the beans, which looks a whole lot different than chocolate we buy in stores. (Great place for photo of the bean here!!) Factories can take these beans and do several things with them – grind it into powder, make it into cacao nibs, or cacao butter!
Yes, healthy chocolate is a REAL thing!
Not all chocolate is considered healthy. Dark chocolate has been proven to be good for your heart, good for your brain, and can help you sleep! The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains, and chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants you can eat!
Another health benefit of dark chocolate is the flavanols, which stimulate the lining of the arteries to produce nitric oxide. The release of nitric oxide signals the arteries to relax, thus lowering blood pressure and allowing more blood to flow.
If you were to buy a 100 gram 70-85% cacao dark chocolate bar, it contains these recommended daily values: 11 grams of fiber; 67% iron; 58% magnesium; 89% copper, 98% manganese, plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Now, it also comes with 600 calories and moderate amount of sugar, so don’t get the whole bar in one day!
Tips for buying healthy chocolate
- When shopping for chocolate, if you see “raw cacao” on the ingredient list, consider it a healthy version!
- The higher the cacao percentage, the lower the sugar content, thus the healthier the chocolate.
- Buy raw cacao and add a teaspoon of it to your smoothies or yogurt in the morning. It’s a whole lot healthier to add a teaspoon of raw sugar or honey along with it than buying processed chocolate.
So, the answer to the question is YES, there is such a thing as “healthy chocolate”. Pick the right forms and the right products and take advantage of enjoying the treat and reaping the health benefits.