Everyone is talking about chocolate! You can’t turn on the radio, television, or open a magazine without hearing about the new chocolate craze. Eating chocolate is now good for you and “heart-healthy!” As long as you know the whole story…
There is a new wave of products being made with pure cocoa. Cocoa is a seed that grows in pods on trees and contains flavonols. Flavonols lower blood pressure, improves brain function, and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. Pure cocoa is also loaded with antioxidants. (So, eating lots of chocolate makes you pretty and stops the aging process! Don’t we all wish!)
The only problem is you have to eat the dark chocolate to get all the health benefits it has to offer, that means eating 70-100% dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cocoa means higher the flavonols and antioxidants, the better it is for you and your health. Eating 100% cocoa can be a bit hard to swallow since it tends to be very bitter. The best way to begin eating dark chocolate is to start at 50-60% dark chocolate and work your way to the higher percentages.
Why do we love our milk chocolate so much?? Milk chocolate is made up of powdered, liquid, or concentrated milk, cream, milk fat, sugar, spices-such as vanilla, and only 10% of cocoa. Pure sugar and fat! No wonder we love it so much, it tastes good but its loaded with empty calories and has no benefit to your health.
So how do you get your chocolate benefits and eat them too???
- Buy dark chocolate bars with 70-100% cocoa.
- Use cacao nibs for baking, raw recipes, and even add them to your smoothies.
- Try it straight, by eating raw cocoa beans.
- Grate it on fresh fruit or on oatmeal.
- Use pure cocoa powder for drinking, like hot chocolate.
- Try “Choffy!” It’s meant to be brewed like coffee! (I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds fabulous! So, I’m off to order some now!)