Chocolate tastes good. In fact, chocolate tastes heavenly!
But no worries-chocolate is good for you! Pure dark chocolate is chock full of antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals that can cause damage and lead to heart disease and wrinkles (eww!). These flavonoids help relax the blood pressure through the production of nitric acid, balance certain hormones in the body, and lower cholesterol. Chocolate does all this, and tastes good, too!
Chocolate also makes us feel good!
- Stimulates endorphin production (the “feel-good” chemicals)
- contains serotonin, an anti-depressant
- contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine
And it makes our skin smooth and soft because of the healthy fats:
- Oleic Acid: healthy monounsaturated fat found also in olive oil
- Stearic Acid: Saturated fat that has a neutralizing effect on cholesterol
Ok, you may be thinking, “Alex, why in the world are you talking about chocolate on a sugar-free blog? I thought you couldn’t eat chocolate!”
That’s true, but real chocolate doesn’t start out with sugar in it. It starts out as a mere cacao bean, naturally unsweetened.
Cacao was named Theobroma by Linnaeus, which means “food of the gods.” The trees are grown mostly in Africa, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia and South America. Within the cacao pod, there are about 25 beans that make the chocolate we know in the United States.
I like to eat the cacao nibs, which are not sweetened. At first taste, they can be very bitter, but take the second bite! think about it. You might grow to love it! I love putting it in my exotic oatmeal, on top magic banana ice cream, or simply on top of a scoop of peanut butter. These can be found at some health food stores, or you can by them online at my shop.
I have also found that 100% dark chocolate bars taste heavenly! I like Baker’s chocolate squares, and Ghiradelli baking chocolate. They can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores. Like with the unsweetened cacao nibs, try a couple bites to get the full taste! Roll it around in your mouth, and think about it. You might find that you like it better than sweetened chocolate because of its intense, rich flavor.
If you still can’t handle the unsweetened chocolate; go for the chocolate that is as dark as you can handle, and you can still reap the benefits!
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
How dark is the chocolate you eat? Do you eat it a lot, or just occasionally?
I have been experimenting with it a lot. My most recent success was adding 100% chocolate chunks to my banana muffins-oh so good!
Psst-looking for my giveaway? Click here.