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Is Chocolate Good For You?

by Marissa on December 13, 2013

is chocolate good for you

This time of year, there’s no shortage of chocolate. There’s so much of it, in fact, it seems like it should be it’s own food group. I’m always asked if chocolate is good for you. The answer isn’t as straightforward as you may like to think but here’s my take on it. For all you chocolate lovers, this blog post is for you.

So is chocolate good for you?

Yes and no.

Chocolate has been used medicinally for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also enhances well-being by releasing the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind of chocolate and all you’ll get is loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.

Be a responsible chocolate eater.

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed it becomes, like in commercially produced candy bars, the fewer healthy components remain.

Here’s how you can make the most of your chocolate fix:

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages. The number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw – or as unprocessed as possible. I’m usually never without some raw chocolate in my bag. My favorite brands are Nibmor, Fine & Raw and Hu Kitchen’s chocolate.

Want to make your own chocolate treats to keep at home or give as gifts? Try this recipe for raw chocolate truffles.

Raw Chocolate Truffles

Prep time:  20 minutes

Makes 25 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Water (to mix)
  • Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, raw sugar, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love

Directions:

  • Mix cashews in a food processor until it forms a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
  • Add maple syrup to cashews and pulse to process.
  • Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
  • Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
  • Form teaspoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!

Get Even Healthier!

Are you curious about how to choose chocolate – and other delicious superfoods – to keep you healthy (and your taste buds happy)? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about! I’m filling my calendar for January now!

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