Happy Chocolate Day!
As we celebrate one of our favourite ingredients, let's sink our teeth into some interesting ways that chocolate helps.
Did you know that chocolate was used as currency during the Mayan times? That was how much they loved and treasured cacao. A familiar predecessor of how we stash our most precious chocolate treasures in a discreet corner of the fridge for an indulgent middle-of-the-night treat!
1. Listen to Your Heart
Chocolate is not just good for the emotional aspects of our heart, but also for our literal, physical heart. The compounds in dark chocolate appear to guard against oxidation of LDL, i.e. bad cholesterol. As such, less bad cholesterol stay within the arteries and as a result, the risk of heart problems is decreased.
There was also a longitudinal study conducted on 150,000 US veterans, where researchers monitored their health statistics and dietary behaviours over a period of time. One significant finding from this study was that consuming chocolate within a recommended amount actually helped to guard these individuals against heart disease.
2. Choc-a-block of Good Skin
Packed with flavanols, which are antioxidants, chocolate, or in this study, cacao beans, contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries! Antioxidants are especially wonderful for skin repair and preventing oxidation within our bodies, and flavanols, in particular, protect our skin from sun damage.
Additionally, dark chocolate is filled with vitamins, minerals and much of the good stuff that your body needs to function.
3. Mind Over Matter
Good for our brains, mental development and emotional development. Perhaps, chocolate could be the superfood underdog of our time?
Like all things, moderation is the key. Do be aware that a good majority of commercially-produced chocolate is also accompanied by high levels of sugars and other additives that may cancel out the benefits that cacao brings. At Oatberry, we pride ourselves in providing only nutritionally-rich and health-benefiting offerings, and our Essentials Dark Chocolate Granola contains one of the lowest sugar contents amongst breakfast cereals in the market (2.5g of sugar per serving versus an average of 10g of sugar per serving for similar offerings from other brands). If you're still on your journey to the darker side, our Essentials Double Chocolate Granola is crafted with semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate and weighs in at only at 3.5g of sugar per serving. Get your spoons ready!
Note: In this article, we refer to dark chocolate, given its closeness to the raw form of cacao and all its amazing benefits. Generally, semi-sweet and milk chocolate has a higher sugar content, and white chocolate is technically not considered chocolate, as it is cocoa butter combined with sugar and flavourings.