Dark Chocolate and it's benefits
Craving something sweet?
If you have a sweet tooth but are looking for a healthy alternative then look no further. Dark chocolate has been consumed as far back as 1900BC by the pre-Olmec people. Chocolate was used for ceremonial and medicinal purposes as well as for everyday life and was considered a luxury by the Mayans. Back then it was consumed as a bitter drink since dark chocolate was all they had (milk chocolate was not introduced until 1689). They would also mix the chocolate to give it a nicer flavour with ingredients such as vanilla, chili pepper, corn meal, some other spices and even sometimes with alcohol.The trees were even grown in their backyards.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to eating dark chocolate in moderation. Here are some of the most beneficial ones for us:
It can act as an anti-inflammatory. The good microbes in your stomach breaks down the chocolate and ferments it which then produces this anti-inflammatory compound, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which can neutralize free radicals and stop premature aging. It has even shown to have more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than some fruits and berries.
Dark chocolate also contains many vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium plus many more. In order to get any benefit out of your chocolate make sure it has a cocoa content of 70% or higher as this will have all the flavonols which gives the benefits.The higher the cocoa content, the better it is for our body. Steer clear of ones with sugar, added milk or vegetable oils.
How dark do you like your chocolate?
So next time you want a dessert or just a little something sweet as a snack go for the dark and also remember to have it in moderation too. You should only eat or drink a small amount per day as chocolate does contain a fair amount of calories.
It is also worth noting that it is worth looking at the ingredients in your dark chocolate to make sure there are no added sugars. Usually an organic brand with 70% plus is best.