Not all chocolate is bad, dark chocolate has many benefits such as containing antioxidants and minerals. The darker the chocolate the higher percentage of antioxidants they will contain.
Many of these beneficial substances are destroyed by cooking, processing and refining, hence sourcing good quality dark chocolate is essential. Most dark chocolate still contains large amounts of sugar so you have to be careful with the ingredients. Dark chocolate with lower percentages of cacao have more added sugar and unhealthy fats.
If you like dark chocolate, then cacao is obviously very similar. The beauty of cacao is that you can add it to smoothies, desserts, eat it as is, eat it combined with other superfoods in raw chocolate bars. Cacao has more antioxidants than green tea or red wine.
Dark chocolate has properties that can benefit health :
- Very nutritious as it is loaded with soluble fiber and minerals (potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium)
- Powerful source of antioxidants.
- May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The flavanols help relax arteries and lowers the blood flow resistance and therefore reduces blood pressure.
- Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation.
- May reduce heart disease risk due to the fact that it is highly protective against the oxidation of bad cholestrol.
- May protect your skin from the sun as it improves blood flow to the skin, and increases skin density and hydration.
- Could improve brain function which might be due to caffeine and theobromine content.
But as it is still chocolate and it isn’t 100% cocoa, meaning it is still high in calories, saturated fat as well as sugars.
Hence, balance is key.