Who’d have thought chocolate could be so healthy?

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With Easter fast approaching the chocolate lover in all of us may be salivating in anticipation of the increased supply of chocolate on offer this coming weekend.

When selecting your chocolate eggs for yourself or loved ones bear in mind they are not all created equally and your choices can have a positive effect your health whilst still allowing you some indulgence. Dark chocolate has been shown to have some remarkable effects on various health markers and is now thought to be good for you to include in your diet on a semi-regular basis.

The positive health benefits of chocolate stem from the  antioxidants polyphenol or high flavanol count of dark chocolate. This means the processed, lighter coloured, milder tasting chocolates may be what your tastebuds would be initially drawn too but unfortunately this equals a low flavanol count. Without the bitterness, it may taste great but it will be of little  benefit to your health.

It is the perfect mix of flavonoids and flavour, loaded with polyphenols and cocoa butter is a wonderful source of both saturated and mono-saturated fats. This combination leaves little room for polyunsaturated fats thus dark chocolate has a neutral effect on LDL or the “bad” cholesterol levels. The inclusion of dark chocolate in your diet can improve microcirculation resulting in reduced moisture loss in skin, protection from sunburn and redness and increase antioxidant

Good chocolate with a high cacao content (think 85% or more) and low sugar level, eaten with restraint (a few squares in one sitting) is a great choice for this coming Easter and beyond! Treat it as a “medicinal adjunct” or a condiment to a already solid/healthy diet and consume with mindful intent.

If you’re feeling inspired there are a multitude of recipes based around raw cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut nectar, so delicious that even the most die hard of chocoholics will enjoy whilst getting hit with a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Super Simple 3 ingredient Raw Chocolate

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup raw cacao

  2. 1 cup coconut oil or cacao butter

  3. 2-3 tablespoons raw honey or brown rice syrup

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. If coconut oil is hard, you may need to slightly melt in a double boiler.

  3. Pour mixture into a lined baking tray or chocolate mould

4.   Allow to set in the freezer until hard.

5.   Break into pieces and store in a container in the fridge

You are able to tailor this recipe to include any extra additions.

Our favourite ideas include:

  1. Pinch of sea salt

  2. Goji berries

  3. Puffed quinoa

  4. Flaked almonds

  5. Coconut flakes


Article by Stephanie Flockhart

To book an appointment with the Acupuncture, Nutrition and wellness team at Life Synergy, Gold Coast. ph: 07) 5520 2147

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