The Beauty of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is jam-packed full of nutrients & antioxidants which can improve your health & lower the risks of heart disease and cancer.

It is the extract from the seed of the cocoa plant that has all the health benefits.  This means you should buy the good quality dark chocolate which has the highest percentage of cocoa.  It's a bit more expensive, but after reading this blog article, you will see it is well worth it!

Try out this great vegan chocolate drink which contains one teaspoon of powered cocoa:-
Ingredients: one mango, one avocado, one tablespoon of cocoa powder, 500ml of coconut milk (you can use almond milk instead).

A 100g bar of dark with 70-85% cocoa contains:-
  • 11g of fibre.
  • 67% RDA for Iron
  • 58% RDA for Magnesium
  • 89% RDA for Copper
  • 98% RDA for Manganese
  • And loads of potassium, phosphorus, zinc & selenium
Now, 100g of dark chocolate is also rich in calories and fat, but these are healthy fats; mainly saturated and monounsaturated with small amounts of polyunsaturates. Even so, you should still be careful with the quantity you eat as you could get fat!!

But it's not that simple; research has shown that it isn't just the amount of calories that determines your weight, but the character of those calories. We think of chocolate as full of empty calories, but they seem to have a serious impact on our bodies' metabolic functions, and those can be enough to offset the addition of all those calories in the first place.  

This means that because of dark chocolate boosting our metabolic function, it can help in weight loss & weight regulation.

Plus, according to studies, the flavonoids & antioxidants in dark chocolate can help decrease the risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. 1 study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than fruit, incl blueberries and Acai berries.
All of this basically means that dark choc is great for heart and brain function.  The antioxidants help reduce stress and ease depression, the minerals mentioned above help control blood sugar levels and of courthey aid in weight loss.

In addition to all of these health benefits, the "good" bacteria in our guts (Bifidobacterium) and lactic acid bacteria feast on chocolate. The resulting compounds, or bi-products, are absorbed by our body, and they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, which can reduce the long-term risk of stroke and heart disease.
In terms of the exact chemistry involved, cocoa powder contains several polyphenolic, or antioxidant, compounds such as catechin and epicatechin, and a small amount of dietary fibre. Once they reach the colon, the microbes take over. The fibre is fermented and the large polyphenolic polymers are converted into a smaller, more easily absorbable form.  This is all great for digestion, metabolic rate and general well-being. No more feeling groggy!

Please see this video below for a quick and easy way to eat dark choc:



Ingredients: 100g of 85% dark chocolate, strawberries, blueberries and black grapes. You also need a saucepan and cocktail sticks!

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