ProConnect

Love Chocolate? How To Be Healthy About It

By

Love Chocolate? How To Be Healthy About It [EXPERT]
Chocolate isn't as bad for you as you may think.
How to incorporate chocolate into your health-conscious lifestyle.

If you're a chocolate lover then you probably don't need much convincing that chocolate is good for you. You are probably thrilled that right about now, the stores are overflowing with chocolate bunnies and eggs. Advice: My Boyfriend Isn't Supporting My Health Goals

For many of us, it's difficult to resist that dark, creamy decadence or even simply the taste of chocolate that is so often used to flavor ice cream, drinks, baked goods, sauces and just about anything edible. It's not surprising that as a species, we're addicted to chocolate because long before we realized its value, the Aztecs and Mayans were using it for money, trading the beans for food and animals. Yet, today, there are good reasons why we revere it as a food source.

More from YourTango: Desperate Debbie & 9 More Women That Turn Men Off

According to David Wolfe in his book Superfoods, the cacao bean is complex, much like wine and coffee, having over 500 chemical compounds including theobromine, a cousin of caffeine, and phenylethylalanine, a substance that is released in the brain when we fall in love. It is also a source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the brain chemical and antidepressant serotonin. In addition, cacao's antioxidant levels rival those found in red wine, blueberries, and pomegranates so it potently protects our cells from free radical damage. 4 Easy Tips For Healthy Self Esteem & Body Image

If that isn't enough, it is also one of the most abundant sources of magnesium which is important for heart and brain function, as well as healthy bones and muscle relaxation. It also provides a number of additional minerals including, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper. It is also a surprising source of vitamin C.

With everything going for cacao, it almost seems too good to be true. And in some cases, it is. To reap its benefits, the chocolate it goes into must be good quality, minimally processed and of course, consumed in moderation.

Like many foods, chocolate retains its potency the more it remains in its natural state and often, one of the many steps in its processing is roasting. While this creates a flavor profile different from raw beans, the health benefits are reduced and most chocolate today is produced from roasted cacao beans. 5 Food Label Dealbreakers

In addition, the higher the cacao content in a chocolate product, the better. For example, white chocolate actually contains no cocoa solids, which would give it the brown color but is made from cocoa butter or a non-cocoa based fat. Milk chocolate is typically 10-25% cacao and includes milk powder.

Chocolates considered dark contain no milk products and can have cacao contents 85% or higher. They're also lower in sugar than white or milk chocolate, making them bitterer and more satisfying. Often, a square or two of dark chocolate is enough to curb a craving.

More from YourTango: 8 Surprising Opinions Men Have About Your Body

To make the most of your chocolate-eating experience, focus on dark, solid chocolates or chocolates mixed with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or spices. In addition, use raw cacao powder or nibs when adding chocolate to raw foods such as smoothies, puddings or other raw desserts. 5 Food Label Follies

Here are two ways to add chocolate to your recipe collection:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Recent Expert Posts
Staying Dry

10 Signs Your Guy is Smitten

Does that new hunky guy you've been dating see you in his future? Here are 10 ways he'll show you.

Girl Decorates Easter Eggs

Rebirth Renew Happy Easter!

Five ways to get going on your best life today!

Texting Your Way To Love

How To Have Cyber Sex: 5 Keys To Unlock Your Lady's Passion

Cyber sex partners disappearing right when things are heating up? Make them crave you instead!

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS