We all have favorites…you know those foods that bring joy, comfort and pure delight! I have come a long way…being able to say that I can experience total freedom and joy eating a food. In the past…food, and yes even chocolate, paralyzed me.
If the chocolate wasn’t a specific kind that I knew was “safe”, I wouldn’t eat it. Crazy huh?
Maybe, maybe not. It is promoted that dark chocolate is good for you. And it is. Pure dark chocolate is loaded with minerals that are heart healthy: iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Another benefit of dark chocolate is the antioxidant value. It rates very high on the ORAC scale. Meaning the polyphenols, catechins, flavanols and others are going to work for your cells, protecting them.
Dark Chocolate, the real thing, has also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow by nutritionally supporting the health of the arterial wall.
Other fun benefits of eating dark chocolate are: raises HDL and protects LDL, protects the skin against sun damage, improved cognitive function, and may lower the risk of heart disease.
After reading all that….it kinda makes you want a chocolate bar. BUT beware, not all chocolate is created equal. Be choosy. Look for organic chocolate bars with 70% or higher on the cacao. If 70% is too much for you to start with, then start with 55% and gradually work up to 70%.
Side note: I am so sorry to deliver the “bad” news, but milk chocolate is not included in these health benefits. It’s got to be dark.
I also recommend staying away from chocolate bars with an ingredient list a mile long. That list is filled with additives the body doesn’t need.
Brands that I like are:
Choco~love – with a name like that, how can it not be good! Each wrapper contains a love filled poem too. Any chocolate wrapped in love is a delightful find.
Green & Blacks – this is my husband’s favorite.
Lily’s Dark Chocolate – made with Stevia and is delicious! Low in sugar and high in cacao.
Ghirardelli – YUM! This one is great for baking. YES, I bake a lot and chocolate treats are my fav!
Newman’s Organic is another one of my favs – #1, you can find it at most stores where as these others are found only in health food types. #2 it has a delicious taste and creamy.
Endangered species is another good one.
The key to eating chocolate is moderation. Find the balance for your body. Too much makes you feel blah. Pay attention to that. Honor your body with a little at a time.
Savor a square or 2 after a meal, eat slowly and with awareness, bring your senses to life…the chocolate has never tasted so good. AND the best part is…you will not want more, you will be satisfied. YES!
My favorite website for chocolate goodness is www.chocolatecoveredKatie. She comes up with delightful alternative recipes so you can enjoy baked goods in a healthier way. Give those a try and let me know your favorite.
Enjoy the goodness!