Research and published studies are showing that dark chocolate is actually good for you. It has the highest concentration of flavonoids on a per-weight basis of any food. In addition, it is loaded with antioxidant-rich phytonutrients.
According to Cal Orey, author of The Healing Powers of Chocolate, chocolate is no longer a guilty indulgence. Instead, dark chocolate is a super food that may be a key to living a long, healthy life. Orey is a health journalist who has interviewed doctors, dieticians, and chocolatiers while researching for her book.
“In the past decade, studies proved that dark chocolate has many virtues, and, in moderation, can help stave off heart disease and cancer. It can even help you stay slim. There are 300 to 400 compounds in dark chocolate that can help you from head to toe, inside and outside of your body.” “ In addition to life-threatening diseases, chocolate can also help with lesser ailments such as anxiety, depression, PMS and seasonal affective disorder. Because of chocolate’s antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, you can get the same benefits as in red wine and vegetables,” says Orey.
She adds that diabetics have a reason to cheer for dark chocolate because a chocolate high in cocoa will be low in sugar. “This is good news for those who are concerned about keeping insulin swings to a minimum”.
There are hundreds of studies to back up the benefits of dark cocoa. So, you can have your chocolate and eat it too – without guilt!
- Decrease cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
- Prevent the formation of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
- Increase the flexibility of blood vessels in order to lower blood pressures and decrease the stress on the heart.
- Help the body utilize sugars better thus reducing diabetes as well as decreasing the complications of diabetes – vision problems, amputations and kidney problems.
- Prevents tooth decay.
- Improve memory and slow down dementia.
- Improve the quality of your skin.
- Decrease the inflammation associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any inflammatory disease.
- Alleviate depression.
- Help with weightloss by decreasing appetite.
And ladies, if that isn’t enough reason, this may be the clincher: dark chocolate chases wrinkles!
Are all chocolates created equal? What to look for.
The key is to start with high quality dark chocolate: one that is pure, unprocessed and untainted by pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. As with any food, the ingredients and their sources plus the manufacturing process vary per company and are very important to the finished product.
The percentage of cacao refers to the amount, by weight, of cacao bean plus cocoa butter in chocolate—the higher the percentage, the darker the chocolate and the greater the antioxidant value—thus the more beneficial to your health. Look for 70% or higher.
Compare ORACFN (Total Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity for Food and Nutrition) values. Foods with a high ORAC value have been shown to help protect cells from oxidative damage . ORACFN is the latest patent‐pending test from Brunswick Labs that measures broad‐spectrum antioxidant potential against not just one, but FIVE primary free radicals. Free radicals come in many varieties and harm our bodies in different ways. Protection against one does not guarantee protection against the others.
The chocolate that I have added to my daily regime is 70% organic dark cacao with 750 Flavonoids and an ORACFN value of 37,208 in every 8‐gram square. Kosher and Rainforest Alliance Certified, non-GMO with a mere 2 grams of sugar and only 40 calories!
And may I add, the BEST dark chocolate I have ever tasted! For more info. on Chava Chocolate, please visit my website.