beneficioschocolate

6 Tips for Picking Healthy Chocolate

Have you ever decided to stop something for a week or so, but it only lasted for a couple of days? I’m with you on that one. It’s soooo hard to keep our own promises, only to break them, and feel guilty all over again. So today I want to share with your a little about my own addiction, that I actually feel awesome about. Yes, I feel pretty darn good about it (and it certainly makes ME feel really good). Okay, you must be dying to know! It starts with the letter C….can you guess? Chocolate, hello!!!

But not just any kind of chocolate of course. I would probably categorize myself as a self proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, so none of those commercial chocolate bars really do it for me. I am the organic, 70% or more dark chocolate type of gal.

As the sugar and milk content increases in chocolate, the health benefits decrease.

Did you know that pure cacao powder (especially raw) eaten in moderation can actually have a health benefit to it? Recent research suggests that raw cacao powder is packed with antioxidants which can reduce the risk for cancer and demonstrates immune stimulating effects.

But the reason I find chocolate so euphoric and irresistible is due to the wide range of chemical compounds responsible for boosting endorphins and increased dopamine production in the brain. Chocolate simply makes people happier (even if for just a little while) and gives a sense of well-being, making it an excellent anti-depressant.

1. Go for high quality, organic 70% cacao dark chocolate.

2. Avoid chocolate candies and treats made with hydrogenated fats or refined flour.

3. Pass on products labeled "chocolate flavored" or "artificial chocolate". Those imitations are not even close to the real thing.

4. Quality chocolate should be only three to four ingredients, which should include cocoa mass (or cocoa liquor), cocoa butter, and sugar (GMO free cane sugar if possible).

5. Look for Grade AA Cocoa Butter because using Grade AA is what creates that wonderful melting sensation in your mouth.

6. Look for brands that believe in strong ethics and hold integrity close to their heart. A company that is selective over how they produce chocolate from the bud to the bean to the bar is going to put a lot more effort into creating something worthwhile.

I do have to warn you that chocolate is a stimulant so if you do experience feelings of nervousness or anxiety after consuming chocolate you’re better off without it. Also, if you have kidney stones, you should completely avoid this indulgence. Please know that I’m simply sharing my experience, so please make your own conclusions, and listen to your own body and whatever works for you.

What I can assure you of, is that high-quality organic dark chocolate eaten in moderation is a superior alternative to processed desserts with refined sugars & trans fats such as cookies, cakes, candy bars, or ice-cream.

So to leave you off, I’ve included a quick, and super healthy recipe for a smoothie that utilizes raw cacao powder. Make sure to try it out at home! And remember that when you do reach for chocolate, keep it to about 1-1.5 ounce serving portion earlier in the day. If you have it too late, it may keep you up at night.



Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

1 banana, chopped & frozen
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp peanut butter
Dash of Celtic sea salt
Shredded coconut to garnish

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

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