Love and Chocolate

by Nutrition

Love and Chocolate

February is considered the month of love around the United States, so thoughts can naturally go to chocolate. It’s typical for the average person to give a small gift, perhaps chocolate, to their partner. Theobroma cacao, also known as cocoa or cacao, has been used for over 5,000 years due to its many health benefits. These benefits stem from cocoa’s flavonoid and polyphenol content. Originating in Central America, its popularity keeps growing around the globe.

Chocolate was traditionally used to prevent disease and to promote overall longevity, libido, and fertility. Nowadays, chocolate has three different common forms: white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. The process to prepare the beans includes fermentation, drying, roasting, nib grinding and refining, conching, and tempering the cocoa beans.

Consuming dark chocolate has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality by nearly 50%. It also has a positive relationship with the prevention of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and even obesity. Additionally, chocolate contains magnesium, copper, potassium, and calcium which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and artery narrowing.

Chocolate can be found in a wide variety of products. Dark chocolate is the best form of chocolate. Chocolate is considered dark when it is less processed and has the above-listed health benefits. Dark chocolate has five times the polyphenols and flavonoids and contains less fat and sugar when compared to other chocolates. As always, moderation in your diet is key, and you can get more information from your local holistic health practitioner to see if chocolate is right for you.

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