Is chocolate good for you? The answer is yes! But don’t go raiding the fridge just yet. Chocolate’s health benefits come from cocoa solids, so the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits it will have. Therefore, the best chocolate for you is rich in cocoa like cocoa nibs, not your average chocolate bar!
This nākd. blog will tell you everything you need to know about why chocolate is good for you and how you can reap the benefits.
Chocolate is made from the beans of cocoa trees. This makes chocolate an inherently plant based food. They grow in pods on the trunks of the trees and there are 20 to 50 beans in each pod. The beans have a pinkish pulp surrounding them when they’re fresh and this pulp is the source of chocolate’s flavour.
The beans are then dried and roasted before they’re ground into a paste that has a bitter taste. The paste is mixed with sugar, vanilla and butter to make chocolate as we know it. Cocoa butter can be used to ensure the chocolate remains vegan friendly.
Unlike other varieties, dark chocolate does not contain milk. This means it has a higher percentage of cocoa contained in the bar, and therefore a greater concentration of antioxidants which is why it contains more health benefits.
Cocoa solids contain antioxidant chemicals called flavonoids. These are found naturally in some plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, teas and olive oil. Flavonoids are antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals in the body.
However, chocolate bars typically contain added sugar and fat. This means that the health benefits of eating chocolate are often counterbalanced by its calories, fat and sugar content. People looking to eat chocolate for its health benefits should look for darker chocolates with more cocoa, less sugar and few additives.
Our chocolate flavoured nākd. products are made with 100% natural ingredients. This makes them a great, healthier alternative to chocolate bars because they contain no added sugar or syrups. Check out our nākd. Chocolish range, or Cocoa Orange and Cocoa Delight snack bars to see for yourself.
In conclusion, cocoa has some excellent health benefits that we can reap by eating dark chocolate, or chocolate with a high cocoa content. This is because cocoa beans grow on a tree and have similar nutritional properties to other fruits and vegetables. But, just like everything, it’s best in moderation and you should always check that no other nasty additives have been added to your chocolate that could counteract its nutritional value. At nākd. we ensure all our products are made with the finest natural ingredients which are packed full of nutrients and made with no added sugars.