If you’re like me, you love to eat chocolate. As a nutritionist, I’m often clearing up the confusion about chocolate and telling people that YES, chocolate can be good for you. However, when it comes to chocolate, not just any will do. I don’t recommend most of the ones on the supermarket shelves as many contain dubious ingredients such as soy lecithin, hydrogenated vegetable oils, skim milk powder, refined sugars, barley malt extract, flavours and other additives that are not beneficial for optimal health.
I recommend buying real chocolate made from pure cacao, with an ingredients list of items you could make yourself at home. So let’s get this myth out of the way once and for all, REAL chocolate made from cacao isn’t bad or unhealthy, in fact it contains some pretty wonderful nutritional properties.
So what is the good stuff in chocolate?
When it comes to chocolate, eat only the best made from REAL food ingredients. I always make my own chocolate using only 4-5 ingredients: cacao powder, cacao butter, a pinch of quality Himalayan salt (to help bring out the chocolatey flavour), coconut oil and honey/stevia to taste. I then love to add extra ingredients like activated or roasted nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, dried fruits, peppermint, lime or orange essential oil or nut butters to make a chocolate nut fudge.
When you make your own real homemade chocolate, savour it, enjoy the experience and make it last! Choose your chocolate wisely and don’t settle for anything but the best. Here are 2 of my favourite healthy ‘chocolate’ recipes, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Coconut & Berry Chocolate Bites
Corti R et al; 2009. Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine. Cacao and Cardiovascular Health. American Heart Association. Pp. 1433-1439.
Dillinger TL et al; 2000. , Food of the Gods: Cure for Humanity? A Cultural History of the Medicinal and Ritual Use of Chocolate. Journal of Nutrition. 130: Pp. 2057S-20579.
Higginbotham E. Taub PR. 2015. Cardiovascular Benefits of Dark Chocolate. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 17 (12); Pp. 54.
Van Wensem J. 2015.Overview of scientific evidence for chocolate health benefits. Integr Environ Assess Manag. 11 (1); Pp. 176-177.
Francisco J et al; 2013. The effects of cocoa on the immune system. Front Parmacol. Pp. 71.
by Jordan Pie
Jordan is an accredited holistic Nutritionist and Certified GAPS practitioner. Jordan has a passion and desire to want to help as many people as possible first to heal, followed by achieving and sustaining vibrant health and wellness through the healing power of food.