Chocolate has received a bad reputation. In the past, chocolate has been associated with obesity and acne because of it’s high sugar content. While this is true for a majority of classic chocolate bars, certain chocolates can actually be healthy for you!
What qualifies a “healthy” chocolate?
Cocoa, one of the main ingredients in chocolate, is extremely high in antioxidants. The cocoa found in chocolate is made by removing the cocoa butter from the cocoa beans and crushing the beans. The chocolate you eat is more nutritious the greater the percentage of pure cocoa. Therefore dark chocolate is the most nutritious form of chocolate to eat, not to mention that it typically contains less fat and sugar.
Health benefits of the phenolic compounds found in cocoa:
- Prevents oxidative stress
- Helps with blood pressure regulation
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Prevents cognitive decline
- Lowers the risk of developing heart disease
- Boosts oxygen availability in fitness training
- May improve mood & lessen symptoms of depression
Evidently, the phenolic phytochemicals found in cocoa have incredible antioxidant capacities. Further, these same phenolic phytochemicals can actually be found in black tea, green tea, and red wine.
Incorporating chocolate into your diet
These health benefits are great news for those of us who are die-hard chocolate lovers! As the holidays approach, there are many opportunities to enjoy the delicacy of chocolate. However, the same goes for chocolate as it does with all foods; moderation is best.
What is your favourite kind of chocolate? Let us know in the comment below.