Chocolate nutrition is something that is near and dear to my heart! After all, I love chocolate. For a long time, however, my big concern was, “Is chocolate healthy for us?” Well, based on my findings, in a word, YES! Of course, I must add that all things in moderation…
Chocolate Nutrition for all!
Studies have shown that dark chocolate, more so than milk chocolate, helps prevent blood clots, can help reduce body weight, and possibly assist in cancer prevention. Unlike money, chocolate actually does grow on trees! Chocolate starts its journey as a tropical tree called the Theobroma cacao. This plant is native to Central and South America but can be grown commercially throughout the tropics. Fun fact – about 70% of the world’s chocolate is actually grown in Africa!
After being picked from the tree, chocolate must go through a process called fermentation. This is where the beans of the tree change from bitter to sweet (or at least more sweet) and more edible for us. The sugars that are in the bean will turn into acids, allowing a color change of pale to dark brown, like the color of chocolate we are used to. The fat that comes from the chocolate tree does not contribute to a spike in the blood level of cholesterol, cementing another good point to eating chocolate. Note that much of the “bad” fat and calories that we see in chocolate is actually more from the things that were added to the chocolate, as opposed to the chocolate nutrition that occurs naturally.
After fermentation, the beans will dry out, lengthening the time it needs to develop the flavor better. After a certain amount of time, when the taste has been perfected, the chocolate is then shipped to factories where it will be processed into the chocolate we consume.
Benefits from Chocolate Nutrition
Here are some facts about chocolate; chocolate decreases stroke risk, reduces the possibility of heart attack, protects against blood inflammation, improves blood flow, and reduces the risk of diabetes.
A study in Sweden has found that 45 grams of chocolate per week can amount to a 20 percent decrease in stroke risk among women. The antioxidant components in chocolate are a beneficial factor in reducing the risk. The flavonoid antioxidant, is the property in chocolate that has shown to reduce the risk of a stroke.
Another study has shown that consuming chocolate can prevent blood clots in the body, which correlates in the reduce risk of a heart attack. By eating chocolate, blood platelets have been shown to clump slower than in non-chocolate eaters, resulting in a reduction a heart attack risk.
A Harvard study has shown that “enhanced chocolate intake” will fasten up the blood flow to your brain, meaning more blood is able to pump through the body.
Another study also shown that eating chocolate can increase insulin, which is a component used in the fight against diabetes.
Overall, dark chocolate looks like a healthy treat to your daily routine! Not only is the taste of chocolate a craving; it is also good for your body. With the added benefits of chocolate, chocolate can become a healthy treat to your daily lifestyle!
My Favorite Chocolate!
Is “Chocolate Nutrition” a misnomer? Arguably, however, there are certainly beneficial elements to eating a reasonable amount of chocolate regularly. And I certainly have a favorite. If you are looking for chocolate that you can eat guilt-free, check out my favorite chocolate. Not only does it have all the benefits listed above – after all, it’s CHOCOLATE! – it has added components that provide an extra punch of chocolate nutrition! You can find out more here.
If you like chocolate, you’ll love what chocolate nutrition can do for you!
Best to you!