Published on May 27, 2020
Nutrition Fun Facts:
- A 1.5 ounce serving of chocolate has the same amount of phenols as a 5 ounce glass of red wine. This is great news for our cardiovascular system, as these antioxidants are especially protective to the oxidative damage caused by cholesterol to the lining of arteries.
- Good source of minerals including magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.
- According to a study from the National Institute of Public Health and Environment of the Netherlands, dark chocolate contains four times the antioxidants found in black tea.
- May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure through stimulating production of Nitric Oxide, which works to send signs for the arteries to relax.
- Considered an adaptogen, which is a substance that helps the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. Adaptogens may be helpful to support health and wellbeing in the high stress world we tend to live in!
- May be beneficial to support hormone balance, energy levels and mood.
- Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Always consult a health care practitioner before adding any herbs into your diet.
Chocolate, like many other crops can be farmed intensively causing harm to the environment. To help keep the environment happy and sustainable, when purchasing chocolate consider these tips of what to look for on a label.
- Fair Trade: ensures that the cacao has been sustainably harvested and grown without pesticides. It also guarantees that the farmers receive fair wages.
- Rainforest Alliance Certification: focuses on sustainable harvesting, stabilization of the microclimate, and stopping deforestation. This initiative allows cacao to be grown and harvested for years to come.
How to Make Chocolate a Not-So-Guilty Pleasure! (and othertips of mindful eating):
- Before eating, give thanks. Take a moment to appreciate your food by giving thanks to the Earth that it was grown on, the farmers that nurtured it, and the person who prepared it (even if it was you!).
- Make it a sensual experience. Feast your eyes first. Savor the earthy fragrance. Appreciate the depth of flavors and try to identify notes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent tastes.
- Take your time and remain mindful. Let each bite melt in your mouth, thoroughly chew, and listen when your body signals satiety.
Journey from Bean to Bar:
- To create cacao powder the nibs are ground into a paste. Immense pressure is added, which results in the oils being separated from the fibrous “cake”. These oils solidify forming cacao butter and the “cake” is turned until it reaches a silky consistency, forming pure cacao powder.
- Something to consider: The percentage of chocolate on the package reflects the total content of ingredients from cacao. When shopping for chocolate opt for the highest percentage that suits your palate.