Mmmm…Chocolate

Chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group…well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.

And you ask. . . Is Chocolate Good for You?

The answer is both yes and no.

Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind, as in milk chocolate, and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.

How to Eat it Responsibly

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols – cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain.  Adults and kids alike are crazy about chocolate, and for good reason! It’s a delicious treat and seems to make the day a little better. In fact, if eating chocolate seems to put you in a better mood, you aren’t imagining it—chocolate really can improve feelings of well-being and your overall mood!

So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.

So, don’t live in deprivation. You can eat your chocolate and still be healthy. Check out this website for a list of healthy dark chocolate. https://healthyeater.com/dark-chocolate-best-and-worst

In Good Health,

Maryanne

Apr2018 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.