All of us have experienced a love affair with Chocolate. There are days when you feel guilty of giving into the temptation and ending up having too much of it or days when you feel too depressive for holding yourself back from the lusciously divine pleasure.
Well the war is over! It is about time you know the really good things about chocolate (raw dark chocolate in particular) so you can strengthen that relationship once again.
Chocolate has adorned our minds, souls and senses for centuries. Olmec Indians; the Maya and Aztec civilization used cocoa beans abundantly. It was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and since then it has been a delicious local favourite. But apart from being historically popular, is it really healthy? What kind of chocolate should you prefer? Are all kinds of chocolate healthy? Why and how should you choose your chocolate? This article answers it all.
What is chocolate and where does it come from?
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are full of natural plant nutrients. These beans are harvested from the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. The process of creating cocoas mass involves the removal of beans from their pod, fermentation, drying, roasting and ground into a mass or liquor.
Are all types of chocolate healthy?
Chocolates are of many types: Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or bitter chocolate, white chocolate, sweet chocolate and many more. Though all of them may be scrumptious but health wise only one can be crowned; the raw organic dark chocolate. Unfortunately nowadays the supermarkets are full of highly processed chocolates containing chemicals which are extremely hazardous to health.
So why is Dark Chocolate better?
Raw organic dark chocolate, also known as "bittersweet" or "semisweet" is the most pure form of cocoa beans which contain around 300 healthy chemicals. Dark chocolate has a slightly bitter, rich and intense taste. It is packed with useful ingredients.
Some quick facts about dark chocolate are:
- Minimum amount of sugar
- It has 60% of cocoa (highest amount found in any food)
- Minimum level of fats (around 10g per 1 oz)
- Extremely rich in Anti-oxidants
- Packed with Serotonin, Endorphin and Theobromine
- Contains really beneficial phytochemicals such as Flavonoids
is also rich in calcium, phosphorus,
iron, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, niacin
amide (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6),
ascorbic acid (vitamin C,) magnesium, copper ,zinc, manganese and vitamin E
A lot of research has been done and published in recent times regarding the health benefits associated with dark chocolate. The most popular advice you can derive from these researches is to choose a dark chocolate that is organic and then consume it in a moderate way.