Thanks to the unhealthy processing methods, chocolate has earned a reputation as a “junk food”. While the candy bars lining the supermarket shelf are definitely not good for you, organic, raw dark chocolate, has many amazing health benefits and even considered a superfood. This article will explain why you should eat dark chocolate everyday.
There is nothing I like more than a square or two of high quality, organic, dark chocolate after dinner. It is the perfect ending for a healthy meal and something I can feel good eating. Of course, moderation is important. I do not advocate that eating a bar of dark chocolate every day, but a couple of squares will be good.
Ancient Mayans knew the benefit of dark chocolate
The ancient Mayans commonly ate cacao which is the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate. They referred to cacao as the “food of the gods”. You can even find depictions of people drinking cacao in their artwork. There are even cacao pods carved into their stone templates. The ancient Mayans also grew cacao trees in their home gardens.
Organic is better
When cacao is processed into the chocolate that we commonly see today, it loses many of its health benefits. This is due to the high heat used in roasting and the chemicals added during the process with lots of added sugar. Raw, unprocessed cacao is full of essential minerals and vitamins as well as antioxidants.
Organic, raw dark chocolate contains minerals such as sulfur, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper and calcium. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B8 and E. It is also a good source of fiber and protein.
Cacao beans contains more antioxidants than strawberries
While you may think that the opposite is true, dark chocolate is good for your skin. In fact, you can even protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Cacao beans are rich in polyphenols called flavonoids. These have been found to have antioxidant properties. They also contain eight times more antioxidants than found in strawberries. Studies have shown that antioxidants protect the cells and fight free radicals that contribute to aging.
Raw cacao is packed with healthy fats
Fats containing raw cacao also support well-being. They include oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil and coconut oil. It also includes saturated fats, which the body needs to function properly.
It advocates a healthy heart and can even increase your mood
Flavonoids can also contribute to heart health. They have been shown to improve blood circulation, lowering blood pressure and reducing the plaque that can build up in the walls of the arteries. The minerals contained in cacao also contribute to the health of the cardiovascular system. The study found that consuming 6.7 grams of chocolate per day has a protective effect on heart health.
Theobromine, an alkaloid found in cacao, has been linked to stimulate the central nervous system and provide the body with an energy boost. Cacao also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which affects brain chemistry in a similar way falling in love. Cacao has been linked to the increased availability of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which can elevate your mood and even reduce depression.
Select the best
To have the most health benefits of your chocolate, choose cacao beans and not roasted. Raw cacao can also be found in “nibs”, which are cacao beans that have been peeled and crushed. You can also try cacao powder, which is created using peeled and cold-pressed cacao beans.
Initially bitter, you can use the raw organic dark chocolate in savory dishes. You may also combine with crushed coconut crystals or stevia leaves for sweeter recipes. So, enjoy the real chocolate and forget those sweet bars.