Chocolate Collective reveals just how healthy chocolate can be
In a world of Veganuary, Dry January, calorie cutting, and a renewed commitment to the gym, you’re going to be ecstatic about the following words…chocolate is good for you. Yes! All those roast potatoes you consumed over Christmas haven’t clouded your vision. It’s true. Consuming the right chocolate, in the right quantities can actually make you healthier.
The healthiest chocolate is dark, with a cocoa percentage of around 70%. Most milk and white chocolate use whole milk, which considerably ups the fat content of your chocolate, sugar is usually added, and this leads to a lot of processing which takes the final product much further away from the nutritionally rich cacao bean started with.
At the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego, studies showed that the higher the concentration of cacao in chocolate, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity, and other beneficial effects. This is due to the huge amounts of antioxidants found in cacao, comparable to some of the healthiest fruit and vegetables out there including aubergines and blackberries!
Dark chocolate is packed with healthy minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium, and a 100g of dark chocolate (70 % or more) provides 67 % of your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of iron. And, all these years I’ve been told to eat spinach to increase my iron intake! 😊
However, while eating a 100g bar may be great for your iron intake, it probably isn’t so good for your waistline, portion control is vital in maintaining a healthy weight, and that goes for all food, not just chocolate. But, what’s great about dark chocolate is that a little bit goes such a long way. Just a small amount, say a square of dark chocolate, after a meal, releases the ‘I’m full’ endorphin, that will help you leave those leftovers alone!
And, it’s not just your waistline that can benefit from a hit of dark chocolate, it’s also your brain. Flavanols, which are abundant in dark chocolate, are thought to reduce memory loss in older people. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
So, we’ve established that chocolate is good for your gut, your waistline, your brain, your mood and now I’m going to tell you it’s even good for your heart. Some studies have shown that dark chocolate stimulates the lining of the arteries to produce nitric oxide which reduces blood pressure. And cocoa powder has been found to significantly lower bad cholesterol in men.
Dark chocolate is also excellent at helping us fall asleep which is the body’s natural time to rest and heal. Although dark chocolate has caffeine in it, it also contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you relax. Interestingly, milk chocolate doesn’t contain serotonin and can actually make you feel more awake.
But there’s more to chocolate than just eating it! Joining us for a chocolate truffle-making workshop gives you the FULL chocolate experience. Using only the finest Belgium dark chocolate (certified wheat and gluten free) we teach you the art of truffle making – a skill you can use again and again at home, so you can always get the best chocolate hit.
So, there you have it, proof that this January if you want to keep trim, get a good night’s sleep, improve your memory and reduce your cholesterol, you should eat some chocolate. Why not get started by signing up for one of our 2019 chocolate making workshops? Dates are online now.