(Written by Natalia Hnatiw)
As you have probably figured out, Ara and I love our chocolate. Chocolate has been considered an indulgence, or a “guilty pleasure,” but it doesn’t have to be that way? You can enjoy a couple squares of dark chocolate everyday as long as it has been made in a healthy way.
It is important to avoid chocolate that contains more added sugar and chemicals than actual chocolate. But the real stuff? Go ahead, enjoy! As nutritionists, Ara and I set out to create chocolate that is good for you and delicious. Our chocolate is 100% organic and contains 85% cacao (the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate). It is naturally sweetened and contains a wealth of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E, EFA’s, protein, antioxidants and fiber. With all these nutrients come a slew of health benefits, including;
Improved Heart Health: The antioxidant power of flavonoids and essential minerals and vitamins found in cacao can contribute to lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing plaque buildup on artery walls.
Free Radical Protection: Antioxidants found in raw cacao protect the body against free radical damage from sun exposure and day-to-day pollution, reducing the risk of many diseases, thereby increasing longevity.
Improved Digestion: A 100g serving of cacao contains 11g of fibre, which supports digestion and gut health.
Enhanced physical and mental well-being: Certain “bliss” chemicals found in cacao help to increase circulation and the availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, improving mental clarity and mood. Phenylethylamine (PEA), for example, slightly increases your heart rate, resulting in a similar feeling to when we are excited or fall in love. The lipid anandamide, also found in cacao, is sometimes referred to as “chocolate amphetamine,” because it causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement and alertness. Another component of chocolate, theobromine, helps to stimulate the central nervous system and dilate blood vessels, thereby increasing energy.
All in all, chocolate can be a really great thing, when eaten in moderation. Don’t be afraid to add dark chocolate to your diet and enjoy it without guilt!