Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

 

If you love dark chocolate as much as we do, then you might be happy to know there are also a few health benefits that accompany this delicious treat.

 Photo via Wikipedia

Photo via Wikipedia

How it’s Made:

Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which grow in large pods that hang from a tree. The beans are extracted, fermented, dried and then roasted into cocoa nibs. These cocoa nibs are then ground and turned into chocolate liquor, which can be separated into cocoa solids and cocoa butter. It’s the cocoa solids that have the most health benefits.

What’s Inside:

Dark chocolate has anywhere from 50-90% cocoa solids and that’s what makes it superior to milk chocolate (which in addition to milk, only has between 10-50% cocoa solids).

Cocoa contains flavonols, powerful antioxidants that have been linked with lowering inflammation, blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes. Typically, the higher the % of cocoa in dark chocolate, the lower the amount of sugar it will have, and a greater amount of antioxidants it will have too.

Recommendations:

Since dark chocolate is still a treat (because of the extra calories from sugar and saturated fat), most health professionals recommend 1 oz per day and the higher the % of cocoa the better.

And for an extra boost, try dark chocolate paired with nuts, dried fruit and spices!

 
 
 
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