Yummy Healthy Chocolate!By Carol Alt / Post / July 31, 2017
Maybe this should be titled something like “You Mean I Can Have Fun Getting Healthy?” I do so many blogs on things that are not good for you, I thought maybe I would do one on what IS good for you, something that tastes really, really good too! How’s that for starting your Monday off on the right foot? What particular food am I talking about? How about chocolate…
Suddenly, I’m not the only one talking about how good chocolate is. But I AM the only one talking about how good it can be for you. I find the best chocolate, and I do mean the most healthy chocolate, is RAW! Oh, don’t go saying “But Carol, how do I find raw chocolate?” I have found a lot of raw chocolate on the market lately. Seems everybody is jumping on the bandwagon wanting to create healthy, yet delicious, chocolate. If chocolate is prepared correctly, and I do mean raw, it has protein, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper and antioxidants in the form of flavonoids. If it’s really raw chocolate, it will contain certain healthy oils as well.
Don’t go listening to the naysayers who say that chocolate is a discretionary food or a luxury, or that it has too much sugar and too much fat in it. I say it’s a health food, because we can make it a food healthy or unhealthy by the choice of processing we use to create the finished product. For example, the commercial process of making chocolate is to cook it at high temperature and adding milk and huge amounts of sugar to it. We usually call this a milk chocolate, but we can also do this to white chocolate as well.
That is NOT the chocolate I’m talking about.
Why is the process of creating a food important? Cooking food starts a chemical reaction. Sometimes, more often than not, that chemical reaction is detrimental to the food. And if it’s detrimental to the food, it can be detrimental to the body. Enough lecturing, let’s go back to talking about chocolate!
Dark raw chocolate has higher levels of cocoa flavanols, which are a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids vary wildly from chocolate to chocolate, because the chocolate refining process strips cocoa of its naturally occurring antioxidants. We know that antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the system. Basically think of free radicals as Pac-Man, chowing down on healthy cells. Antioxidants are those helpful little ghosts (Inky, Blinking, Pinky, and Clyde- nerd alert) that chase him away, protecting those healthy cells.
I would think we’d want as many antioxidants as possible to arm ourselves against free radicals, wouldn’t you? These same flavonoids help with the inflammatory response as well. If inflammation is a cause of some major diseases, then we should do things geared towards helping the body to be less inflamed. Most of the dietary changes that I talk about that are geared towards helping an inflamed body cool itself down, and happen to be things that people don’t want to give up, like coffee, soda, and cooked food.
So now here is something I’m telling you about that is good for you and enjoyable to do! What a relief for me. LOL!
The last thing I want to talk about is chocolate’s healthy oils. I’ve always been told by my doctor that nothing in the body is built from a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are energy– but not building blocks. Sure, we need energy, and even long chain carbohydrates like vegetables can be viewed as energy. So even if energy is necessary in the short term in the right form, we still need major body-builders. If you want to rebuild, regenerate, or rejuvenate the body, then you need essential fatty and amino acids. That means you need oils and proteins- ESSENTIAL oils and proteins. The oils in raw chocolate can be very useful in keeping you young.
So, the big question now is what are you waiting for? I just gave you the OK to enjoy a couple pieces of fabulous raw chocolate. Get off this blog and go find some! Happy Monday!
Edited by Jake Layton