If you’re like us, just the mere idea of chocolate has your mouth watering. When consumed in moderation, chocolate doesn’t only taste good, but can also be good for you. In other words, you can absolutely have your chocolate and eat it too!
The Many Benefits of Chocolate
Aside from being a delight for your tastebuds, chocolate also provides a variety of health benefits! For example, chocolate:
1. Reduces stress and promotes relaxation.
It’s not just your imagination. According to research, a bite of delicious chocolate really can reduce your stress levels ! Chocolate also naturally contains phenethylamine, a compound that stimulates the brain to produce dopamine. This has the effect of improving your mood and making you feel more relaxed. In other words, chocolate can be an excellent (and delicious!) addition to your self-care routine.
2. Is full of nutrients.
Cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, is packed full of nutrients like fibre, iron, potassium, and magnesium . While it’s best to eat chocolate in moderation, it’s good to know that your daily sweet treat can double as a nutrient booster!
3. Is great for your skin.
The cacao in chocolate is full of antioxidants, which means chocolate can help prevent and fight off oxidative stress! This is great news for your skin, which is constantly at risk of oxidative stress because of exposure to the sun’s UV rays and other environmental pollutants . Chocolate can also help boost your skin’s moisture levels and diminish the appearance of wrinkles , while the manganese in cacao helps your skin produce vital collagen.
4. Is good for your heart.
According to several studies, regular consumption of chocolate high in cacao can help reduce your risk of heart disease! [5, 6]
Specifically, the compounds in cacao have been shown to help lower the amount of cholesterol lodged in arteries, which leads to a reduction in heart disease risk.
5. May improve brain function.
Research shows that cacao can help improve cognitive function, including improving memory . The flavanols in chocolate may also help improve blood flow to your brain, while the small amounts of caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can help increase alertness .
Of course, all these benefits don’t mean that you can just go ahead and eat as much chocolate as you want, especially as chocolate is usually sweetened, high-calorie, and easy to overeat. But indulging in a few squares a day is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting a variety of health benefits at the same time. Now that’s a sweet deal if you ask us 😉
2. Does the Type of Chocolate Matter?
The short answer is yes. What it all boils down to is the percentage of cacao or cocoa in the chocolate. The more cacao a chocolate bar has, the more health benefits you will experience. Here’s a handy breakdown of the relative amounts of cacao in different types of chocolate:
Dark chocolate, sometimes known as bittersweet chocolate, typically contains 70% cacao or more. Because of the high cacao percentage, this type of chocolate provides the most health benefits. Dark chocolate is also very rich, so you’ll likely be satisfied with just a square or two.
The most common and most consumed type of chocolate, milk chocolate typically contains between 10% – 40% cacao. Milk chocolate is usually sweeter and has a lighter, less intense flavour profile than dark chocolate.
Despite its name, white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all, as it doesn’t contain any cacao solids. It contains cocoa butter and milk, which is what makes it so creamy and tasty. However, this means that, while delicious, white “chocolate” won’t provide you with any of the health benefits of true chocolate.
Designations like “fine” milk chocolate are quality designations and indicate a higher cacao content—above 40%. Fine milk chocolate strikes just the right balance between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. So, fine milk chocolate is not quite as dark or bitter as dark chocolate, but is still rich tasting with a similar creaminess and sweetness as milk chocolate. It also contains less sugar than regular milk chocolate, plus its higher cacao content means you’ll be getting lots of those chocolate benefits!
Organic Fine Milk Chocolate
Want to reap all the benefits chocolate has to offer? Check out our new line of ACAZEN organic fine milk chocolate, which has 51% cocoa solids, is naturally sweetened with fibre-rich dates, and is low-FODMAP to boot! For a good gut feeling we made sure it contains valuable acacia fibre.
- Chocolate: https://unsplash.com/photos/tWe8ib-cnXY