Americans are in love with chocolate! In 2015, American ate nearly 18 percent of all the chocolate in the world, or around $18.27 billion worth. This is more than all of Asia Pacific combined, according to an article recently published by CNBC. It is the most craved food in the world, especially by women. But is it REALLY good for you? That depends...
Not all chocolate is good for you
It's true; not all chocolate is good for you. But the good news is that some chocolate is! In fact, some chocolate actually has health benefits. OK, so what is it, what is it?? Dark chocolate. Why? Dark chocolate comes from cacao beans, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content. The cacao beans are known for their health benefits. Cocoa and chocolate were considered medicines in Europe in the 17th century and were used to treat angina and heart pain.
How to separate the good from the bad
The 5 types of chocolates include cacao, cocoa, chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.
- The good: This includes cacao, cocoa, and chocolate. Cacao is raw cacao nibs come from the small evergreen tree Theobroma cacao. The seeds are known as cacao beans or cocoa beans (before processing). What most people know as cocoa is the powder from ground cacao beans. Chocolate is candy made from roasted cacao seeds; if the cacao seeds are not roasted, it is considered raw chocolate. This is the good chocolate that has health benefits.
- The bad: The bad chocolate includes milk chocolate, which contains tons of sugar and very little cacao. Also bad is white chocolate, which is just milk and sugar.
How much good chocolate is good?
There is a limit to everything but about ½ to 1 ounce per day, or 1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs twice a day, is a healthy amount and can be added to anything, such as smoothies.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect your nerve cells from damage. Some studies have also indicated that cacao can lower insulin resistance, reduce blood pressure, and lower LDL cholesterol.
Learn more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/02/08/amazing-health-benefits-dark-chocolate.aspx