Healthy chocolate is a great treat and one I don't feel guilty for having on hand. I don't eat it a lot but when I want a sweet snack, dark chocolate sure beats a sugar cookie or even sugar loaded yogurt.
Dark chocolate has been studied and proven to have major health giving benefits! YUM....
Dr. Joseph Mercola says, "If you're a chocolate lover, or even occasionally indulge, I strongly recommend you follow these guidelines... which will allow you to enjoy your chocolate and help you protect your health at the same time."
Find chocolate made from the least destructive processing techniques -- Organic is always best as over-processing reduces your healthy nutrients and can introduce lead contamination.
Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate -- Consuming chocolate as close to its original raw state (unprocessed cacao) provides you the best health benefits.
Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts -- Adding milk to the chocolate process can diminish your antioxidant benefits.
Select chocolate with low sugar content -- Sugar can seriously impact your immune system.
Consume chocolate in moderation -- When you eat too much chocolate, you potentially diminish and defeat any health benefits due to the sugar.
Avoid chocolate if you're struggling with a health challenge -- Sugar can suppress your immune system.
Choose a chocolate made to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility -- Fair Trade certification should be part of your selection process.
If you are working to eat all real food and are concerned about any chocolate.... you can enjoy the same nutritional benefits of dark chocolate by consuming other raw vegetables and fruits such as muscadine grapes, apples, blueberries, spinach, kale, and broccoli, to name a few.
But if you're a chocolate lover, I realize this probably won't satisfy you, says Dr. Mercola.
My strongest word of advice is that you do not consider dark chocolate a substitute for healthy vegetables and fruits... only as a savory complement.
Now that we've established dark chocolate as your best chocolate selection, let's take a closer look at more potential benefits.
Many of the benefits found in cacao are a result of antioxidant activity associated with polyphenols, particularly the flavanols called catechin and epicatechin, which...
But all these wonderful benefits from dark chocolate are only as good as the process used to create the end product.
In fact, some dark chocolate producers remove the beneficial flavanols during processing to eliminate the bitter taste. By doing so,they're essentially diminishing your potential health benefits.
Read more from Dr. Mercola and order some yummy chocolate bars for the family!
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