The key to choosing chocolate is quality over quantity. If you're a chocolate lover like me then this isn't always the easiest decision but, the best type of chocolate contains at least 80% cocoa (preferably more), contains no dairy and is sweeted with xylitol instead of sugar. The higher the cocoa percentage, the less dairy and hidden sweeteners.
So, here's the secret to why chocolate is so good for you. The cocoa in chocolate contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid used by the body to produce serotonin, better known as the body’s ‘happy chemical’. Chocolate also contains a variety of minerals, including iron and magnesium. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, the pigment in the red blood cells which transports oxygen around the body. Magnesium is important for strong teeth, bones and preventing muscle cramps.
The best part is that cocoa is an amazing inflammation fighter! It's listed along with turmeric and following a Mediterranean-style diet as one of the healthiest, most natural ways to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying the chronic, degenerative diseases that affect most of population.
Did you know? Just 40g of cocoa taken daily is considered a nutrigenomic intervention when it comes to chronic inflammatory diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Here are some of my favorite's when it comes to dark chocolate: CocoaFair Dark Chocolate 85% from Faithful to Nature and Honest Organic Chocolate 88% from Wellness Warehouse.
For more on healthy foods you probably thought were bad for you click here.
My name is Megan, I'm a non-practicing Nutritionist. I live in Cape Town with my husband and two crazy dogs. Read more.