Yes, I am encouraging you to eat chocolate.
It’s for your own good, your sanity, and your health. I might be a health nut but I also believe in balance and food freedom, deprivation only leads to self-destruction.
I LOVE chocolate. I say there are two types of people in the world, those who like chocolate and those who prefer fruity sweets like gummy bears and sour worms. In my household we have one of each. I’m a chocolate bar girl and my husband is a gummy bear guy. Fortunately for me, chocolate is the healthier choice and my husband has found a “healthier” version of gummy bears at our local health food store.
Not all chocolate is created equal.
The majority of chocolate choices are grossly unhealthy for you. Your typical candy bar is loaded with mostly sugar, artificial flavors, soy and hydrogenated oils. The food industry has turned a once good-for-you-food into a piece of junk. But if you go down the unbeaten path (the organic aisle in the grocery store) then you’ll likely find a delightful piece of HEALTHY chocolate that can actually deliver nutrients and all other kinds of goodness to your body.
What qualifies as “healthy” chocolate?
Eating the raw version of chocolate, cacao, for its health benefits can be traced back thousands of years, all the way back to Ancient Mayan times. When chocolate is eaten in it’s most organic and raw form it contains essential minerals (magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, etc.), B Vitamins, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Besides being packed with nutrients, research has shown that dark chocolate can also…
- Provide flavonoids to improve circulation and lower blood pressure
- Elevate serotonin in the brain to fend off depression and make you feel good
- Lower the stress hormone, cortisol
- Cacao is also made up of essential fats (similar to those found in avocados and olives) that support our wellbeing, this is part of the comfort and soothing effect that you get when you eat dark chocolate
To get the most benefits out of your chocolate choose 80% cacao or higher.
Some might think 80% cacao chocolate is too bitter, for me it’s just perfect. It’s so rich that just one or two squares makes me content and keeps me from eating the whole bar. If that’s not to your liking then shoot for at least 70% or higher.
The fewer ingredients listed the better. You want to look for USDA organic dark chocolate, and preferably one that also is verified as non-GMO. My personal favorite brand is Theo (http://astore.amazon.com/mytravelfit-20/detail/B004HHEBD4 ), it is 85% dark chocolate, certified organic and only has 4 ingredients (cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla bean).
When working with clients to cut out sugars and dairy to help them heal from the inside out, dark chocolate is my go-to recommendation for them to add a little sweetness and satisfaction in their life. It’s a guilty pleasure that you don’t have to feel guilty about!
A piece of dark chocolate a day can keep the doctor away!
In Health –