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Dark Chocolate Is Healthy

Regular chocolate is by no means healthy for the heart. However, dark chocolate, which is high in cocoa and contains as little or no sugar as possible, provides active ingredients that can benefit the entire cardiovascular system.

Dark chocolate for the heart

Many new studies indicate that the flavanols in dark chocolate are good for heart health ( 3Trusted Source ). An article published in the journal Circulation states that a certain amount of dark chocolate in heart transplant patients showed a significant improvement in blood flow rate, blood clotting, and the overall circulatory system – in just 2 hours. Patients who only received a placebo showed no improvement.

Flavanols for Health

Flavanols are naturally occurring plant compounds and belong to the flavonoid family. They are powerful antioxidants that are also known to have a positive impact on heart health. Flavonoids are also found in tea, red wine, and many fruits and vegetables.

However, the flavanols responsible for dark chocolate’s health benefits also make the chocolate bitter. That is why they are removed by most commercial chocolate manufacturers. Manufacturers are not required to label this removal of flavanols.

However, even if nothing is removed, adding a lot of sugar can negate the beneficial effects of the botanicals, at least partially.

Light chocolate contains few flavonols

To get the health benefits of dark chocolate, there should be an average of 53.5mg of flavonoids per bar. A milk chocolate bar contains less than 14mg and white chocolate contains no flavonoids at all.

In principle, however, the health risks of sugar and fat in chocolate should also be taken into account in this context. So, cocoa and its antioxidants are very healthy. But of course, the little bit of cocoa in conventional chocolate cannot compensate for the negative consequences of all the other unhealthy chocolate ingredients. Conventional chocolate is therefore not suitable as a source of antioxidants. In order to enjoy the valuable ingredients of cocoa, however, the following three options are recommended:

Raw Cocoa Smoothie

A raw cocoa smoothie is a powdered chocolate smoothie. On the one hand, it lacks the unfavorable ingredients of conventional chocolate. On the other hand, in addition to cocoa of the best raw food quality, it also contains other ingredients that are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, such as e.g. B. Lucuma, Maca, and the acai berry. The chocolate smoothie is sweetened with stevia. It gets its creaminess from coconut milk and its authentic aroma from vanilla.

The Raw Cocoa Smoothie is quick to prepare, simply mixed with water to make a delicious drink, and is, therefore, suitable for everyone who is short on time. The chocolate smoothie is also ideal for the office. If there is no blender, a shaker or the practical Twister (a small battery-powered blender) will suffice.

Homemade drinking chocolate

Homemade drinking chocolate made from cocoa and almond milk is a wonderful way to enjoy antioxidants from cocoa while enjoying all the positive properties of almonds. The drinking chocolate made from cocoa and almond milk can be prepared cold or hot and is suitable both as a snack and as a dessert and of course with an alkaline cake in the afternoon.

Dark chocolate: organic or homemade

There are also delicious but healthy alternatives for fans of the traditional chocolate bar. You can buy one in organic shops or – even better – make it yourself. The chocolate should have a high cocoa content (60 – 70%), be sweetened with small amounts of an acceptable sweetener (xylitol, rice syrup, or similar), and be prepared with the best fats (e.g. organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter and possibly .a little white almond butter (makes the recipe meltingly tender)).

If you make the chocolate yourself, you can ideally use homemade date syrup as a sweetener. To do this, squeeze out some orange juice and mix it with pitted dates in a blender until a syrup-like consistency is reached. Now use this date syrup just like rice syrup or honey.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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