Is Chocolate Really a Health Food?
Chocolate is famous for being a guilty pleasure; however, many chocolate products are also advertised as being “heart-healthy.” It can be confusing to sift through the various articles and opinions on the subject, but there has to be an answer. Is chocolate healthy or not, and what makes the difference?
Is Chocolate Good for You?
To answer this question, it is extremely important that we differentiate between chocolate and the ingredients that make up the chocolate. “Chocolate” refers to a final product. In other words, it takes various amounts of cacao, sugar, milk, etc. to make a chocolate bar. The nutritional value of a piece of chocolate largely depends on the nutritional value of its ingredients.
To illustrate this, imagine you are making two salads. One salad is full of leafy greens, fresh, organic vegetables, grilled salmon, and a light vinaigrette. The other salad is comprised of iceberg lettuce, fried chicken strips, processed cheese, and half a bottle of ranch dressing. While the word “salad” is usually enough to convince most people that the dish is healthy, only one of those salads is actually nutritious.
The same is true of chocolate. Most commercialized chocolate is made up of low-quality, high-calorie ingredients. An excessive amount of sugar with little cacao for balance results in an unhealthy treat.
On the other hand, organic, heart-healthy ingredients result in organic, heart-healthy chocolate. The ingredients determine the quality of the outcome!
What Are the Health Benefits of High-Quality Chocolate?
Most of the health benefits of chocolate are found in its main ingredient, the cacao bean. Cacao is rich in nutrients such as iron, calcium, and various immune-strengthening antioxidants.
Studies indicate that cacao reduces the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it appears to lower blood pressure and reduce the possibility of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Dark chocolate, in particular, encourages blood flow and lowers the risk of blood clots. Because it decreases blood pressure and encourages blood flow to the brain, it can even reduce stress as a side effect. (Of course, every chocolate lover in the world knows about its stress-reducing capabilities!)
Despite the health benefits of chocolate, keep in mind that even organic cane sugar is still sugar. While fair trade, locally sourced chocolate is far better than mass-produced, commercialized chocolate, it is still high in calories from fat. As with everything else in life, the key ingredient to enjoying your chocolate is moderation.
Need a Bonbon Fix?
At Sanaa Chocolates, we are proud to offer high-quality chocolate made with organic, locally sourced ingredients.
Beautiful, delicious chocolate is our passion, and we want to share our passion with you! Learn more about our business here or shop our wide variety of bonbons. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to call us today.