How to choose healthy and natural chocolate
For most people with a sweet tooth, chocolate comes first among their favorite desserts. And for good reason! The benefits of good chocolate for the body are truly impressive. Every year there are more and more studies in which scientists discover the beneficial properties of the main ingredient – cocoa. It is a natural antidepressant that contains many antioxidants and also improves heart health and cognitive function. Vitamins and minerals in chocolate include iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc and manganese, vitamins B and E. Other benefits of cocoa include:
- stimulation of brain activity and performance;
- maintaining normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels;
- Potential cancer prevention due to the presence of powerful antioxidants.
Incredible for a sweet treat, don’t you agree?
How to choose the right chocolate
There are hundreds of bars on store shelves with different compositions and caloric content, so choosing the right chocolate can be difficult. First you need to understand the basics. There are three types of chocolate: dark, milk and white. The main ingredients of dark chocolate are cocoa and sugar, milk chocolate – cocoa, sugar and milk, but white chocolate does not contain grated cocoa or powder, only cocoa butter. The daily intake of chocolate, by the way, depends on its type. Doctors recommend eating no more than 50 grams of dark chocolate, but up to 20 grams of white and milk chocolate.
So, let’s figure out which chocolate is better to choose. There are several basic nuances that you should pay attention to when purchasing.
Choose organic products (environmentally friendly)
Some chocolate today is genetically modified. Researchers disagree when it comes to GM foods. But if you have the opportunity to choose organic tiles, you shouldn’t miss it.
Choose chocolate with a cocoa content of 85% or higher
The main benefit of chocolate is cocoa. The other ingredients just make it taste better. The higher the percentage of cocoa content, the healthier and more natural the delicacy. This information is always contained on the packaging, so you can easily find out what percentage of cocoa is in the bar you have chosen.
Make sure the cocoa in the chocolate is non-alkalized
If you strive for maximum naturalness, then in everything. Alkalized cocoa is one that has been pre-treated with alkali to neutralize acidity. This cocoa certainly has its advantages if we are talking about baking or making desserts, for example. But if you just want to buy a bar of delicious chocolate, then look for one with natural cocoa.
Make sure your chocolate does not contain emulsifiers
Stabilizers are helpers in the food industry, but they are harmful to our body. Excessive consumption of emulsifiers can lead to various types of inflammation, metabolic disorders, allergies, diseases of the liver, kidneys and endocrine system. So carefully study the questionable additives in chocolate before purchasing.
Sometimes we eat chocolate without regard to the composition, sometimes we study the purchased bar at home, but it’s best to do this in the store. Moreover, the range is really huge and there is plenty to choose from.
Alas, there are also contraindications to eating chocolate. But, fortunately, there are very few of them. It is definitely recommended to give up sweets for those who:
- allergy to cocoa products;
And despite the high calorie content, moderate consumption of natural dark chocolate is possible even when losing weight.
So, let’s summarize. If you want to not only enjoy a delicious dessert, but also get maximum benefits from it for the body, then choose dark natural chocolate with a minimum of ingredients and always a high percentage of cocoa. And don’t forget about the daily norm, which should not be exceeded, no matter how strong the temptation.