Healthy chocolate? Absolutely yes please.
Chocolate is high in magnesium, a mineral in which 68 percent of us are deficient. Magnesium helps maintain muscles, nerve function, heart health, bone density and the immune system.
In fact, chocolate cravings can be an indicator of iron deficiency in pregnant women.
This warning system can help prevent anemia, which can be passed down to the next generation. Chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which can help fight the signs of aging.
Moreover, chocolate can help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and the theobromine and phenylethylamine contained in chocolate can help combat depression and stress.
Chocolate also naturally contains caffeine, which is good for a temporary energy boost. The amount of caffeine in dark chocolate is actually only between 5 and 10 milligrams.
In comparison, one cup of coffee contains between 100 and 150 milligrams of caffeine. The real problem with most chocolate treats is what is added to them, not the chocolate itself.
Good chocolate, bad chocolate
Store-bought chocolate candy can contain high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, artificial colors and flavors, partially hydrogenated oils, vanillin, carrageenan and tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ).
These ingredients can affect your immune system, cause chronic inflammation, affect neurological responses and even trigger degenerative diseases. Also, almost all chocolate candy on the market contain genetically modified ingredients, while the selection of organic dark chocolate in stores can be expensive and limited.
If you are allergic to chocolate or don’t want any caffeine in your candy, you can use carob instead. Carob tastes just like chocolate but its pods are actually legumes that are high in protein and B vitamins.
Cacao is the unprocessed, unheated version of cocoa and can be bought as a powder, chopped nibs or in its whole form.