January 18, 2016
Here are 5 reasons to eat DARK chocolate on a regular basis:
1. Dark chocolate is very nutritious. Dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa is also a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
2. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. Ever heard of the term “ORAC Score?” ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity…a measure of the antioxidant value of foods. A raw, unprocessed cocoa bean has one of the highest possible ORAC scores of ALL foods. Therefore when choosing bars with high cocoa content, you’re choosing a food packed with more antioxidants than heavy hitters like blueberries and acai berries!
3. Dark chocolate may protect your skin against sun damage.
4. Dark chocolate may improve brain function.
5. Dark chocolate may improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance, raise HDL cholesterol, protect LDL against oxidation, and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
SO HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST BRANDS?
There are dozens of boutique dark chocolates out there. If in doubt, use the following guide:
>High quality dark chocolate will never have sugar listed first in the Ingredients List Sugar should always listed be below the cocoa ingredients.
>Look for the words “100% Organic” The word “Organic” by itself does not mean 100% organic.
>Look for the words “Fair Trade”.
>Look for 70% cocoa content.
>Look out for “Dutching” If your chocolate says “processed with alkali” on the nutrition label, then it’s going to have a whole lot less flavanols (one of the things that makes dark chocolate healthy. Processing with alkali is called “dutching.”
>Beware of Soy Lecithin Some manufacturers use GMO (genetically modified) ingredients…soy Lecithin is a byproduct of processed soy beans and is used an emulsifier (prevents water and fat from separating) and most soybeans grown in this country are genetically modified. Again looking for the words “100% Organic” is always your best bet.