For years, all chocolate was cast off as junk food. We wonder if chocolate is harmful to the teeth. Does it contain too much cholesterol? Will it lead to obesity? The truth is that “sugar” is the major cause of all health problems.
Dark chocolate, made from the cocoa bean, is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids, flavonoid is a powerful source of antioxidants. It helps lower blood pressure, boost blood flow, and reduce blood clots. Dark chocolate may also protect against diabetes. Antioxidants in dark chocolate may help the body use its insulin more efficiently to control blood sugar,flavonoid boost blood flow to brain, which could aid alertness and cognition.
Along with antioxidants, dark chocolate also contains healthy fats. Cocoa butter, the fatty part of cocoa beans, is the unsaturated type that is beneficial for the heart and cholesterol levels. It has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by up to 10%. Daily consumption of dark chocolate could prevent cardiovascular disease. Moreover, it increases endorphins, which gives a feeling of pleasure. It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant.
Dark Chocolate is also very nutritious. Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and is loaded with minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.Dark chocolate is affirmed as brain booster too. High-flavanol cocoa improves blood flow to the brain. The study suggests that the flavanol found in dark chocolate may improve the function of brain and even slow the effects of aging by increasing circulation.
Be aware that a lot of the chocolate in the market is crap. Even all dark chocolates are not good for you. Sugar is often the first ingredient listed on many dark chocolate bars that can dilute the benefits of cacao. (Ingredients are listed in descending order, this means that the first ingredient listed contributes the largest amount and the last ingredient listed contributes the least)
Therefore, to get all of the health benefits from dark chocolate is by choosing the right kind. Dark chocolate with at least 70% or above OR that has “cocoa solids” listed first should be bought.
How to make homemade dark chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 coconut oil, melted
1-2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
Gently melt coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir cocoa powder and honey into melted oil until well blended. Pour mixture into a candy mold or pliable tray. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.