Chocolate chocolate everywhere! This time of year, you can’t walk into a drugstore, or grocery store and not see shelves filled with chocolate. White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate… Are they all the same? They are different in the ingredients and the processing. Today, we are going to look at dark chocolate and the benefits of consuming a piece of dark chocolate for Valentine’s Day!
Dark chocolate can be healthy and nutritious in moderation. But this doesn’t mean anything that is labeled as dark chocolate is healthy. Typically real dark chocolate has a high content of cocoa and less milk than the other forms of chocolate. Ideally, you should look for dark chocolate that has 70-99% of cocoa. Cocoa are chocolate beans that are processed into the dark chocolate bars. The health benefits of dark chocolate comes from the flavonoids in cocoa. Flavonoids are also found in red wine, green tea, and some fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are known to be anti-inflammatory and provide antioxidant benefits. In addition, dark chocolate contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, fiber, Iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Being that cocoa has a bold taste, many brands of chocolate are processed and therefore some of the flavonoids are lost, leading to less heart healthy benefits.
So if you are going to have chocolate, go for a high quality piece of dark chocolate. 1 ounce of dark chocolate would make for a perfect dessert! But, even if you are having dark chocolate, it is still a treat and should be consumed once in awhile.