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Healthy Reasons to Indulge in Chocolate

How to choose the right chocolate this Valentine's Day!   

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s hard to resist satisfying that sweet tooth. If you’re anything like me, your mind is constantly saying “no” but your heart is saying “chocolate.” Quit guilt-tripping yourself fellow chocoholics because I am going to give you a reason to splurge!

chocolate candy box

It all starts with a small tropical tree, Theobroma Cacao. Better known as simply, “cacao tree.” The cacao tree produces beans which are harvested, fermented, and eventually, turned into chocolate.

Overtime, chocolate has received a bad reputation due to its high fat and sugar content. However, recent research has proven that chocolate isn’t totally bad for you, in fact, Dark chocolate is now considered a superfood!

According to a study reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal of the American Heart Association, women who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate per week lowered the risk of heart disease by one third.

dark chocolate snacks with coffee

As the saying goes, “A healthy body equals a healthy mind,” literally. It’s proven that chocolate really is a “mood booster.” In 2013, a study in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that consuming chocolate triggers endorphin production which makes us feel “calmer and more content.” Hello dark chocolate and goodbye stress!

Now for the bad news: Not all chocolate is created equal. Instead of reaching for that KitKat bar, try a chocolate with high cocoa content instead. Dark chocolate contains more of the things that are good for you, like flavonoids and antioxidants3. Also, keep in mind that too much of anything can be bad for you. Sugar is addictive, so be sure to limit your chocolate intake to 1-2 servings weekly. A chocolate overload is not the goal here.

dark chocolate chunks

Need some suggestions? Here are some ways I recommend incorporating dark chocolate into your weekly diet:

  • Go nuts for nuts! Try a quarter cup of cocoa dusted almonds as a midday snack. The protein from the nuts will curb your appetite and the powder is sure to cure your sweet tooth!
  • Have you tried our Dark Chocolate Sprouted Snacks? They are delicious clusters packed with savory nuts, sprouted seeds, and chocolate chunks! A perfectly satisfying- yet guilt-free snack.
  • Don’t let chocolate become your main focus now, it’s still important to fuel your body with other nutrients too! That’s why our new Chocolate Coconut Crunch Homestyle Granola makes an awesome go-to snack. It’s packed with plant based protein, ancient grains, and is gluten free!

Be sure to snack smart. To cash in on the many health benefits of dark chocolate, your serving should contain at least 70% cacao3. Just like everything else in life, moderation is key.

Eat well and happy snacking!

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Mia Tocas
Retail Customer Service | Erin Baker's

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Resources:
  1. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
  2. Science Daily
  3. Be Brain Fit