The History and Nutritional Value of Dark Chocolate
Dating back over 4,000 years, dark chocolate was first enjoyed as a bitter beverage mixed with spices or wine by the Maya. Today, rows of dark chocolate are bought in stores worldwide and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavors. Theobroma Cacao, the scientific name for dark chocolate, translates to “food of the gods,” making it a source of energy and nutritional value for all. At Righteously Raw, we provide a variety of healthy chocolate made with superfood ingredients, including dark cacao, goji berries, maca, açai and much more. To browse our raw chocolate bars, please visit here. The Making of Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate begins as a cocoa pod. The cocoa seeds from the pod are extracted, fermented, dried and roasted. After being roasted, the cocoa seeds become cocoa beans. The shells of the cocoa beans are then separated from the cocoa meat or cocoa nibs. Next, the cocoa nibs are liquified, which becomes chocolate liquor and then separated from the fats called cocoa butter. Lastly, the liquor is refined and produces the dark chocolate that we consume. Dark chocolate contains anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of cocoa solids, whereas milk chocolate contains only 10 to 50 percent. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids, making it an unhealthy chocolate full of cocoa butter, sugar, and sweetened milk. Be sure to check ingredients and read labels when shopping for dark chocolate to ensure the product is dairy-free and vegan. Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Although dark chocolate can be high in calories, it has incredible health benefits and contains twice the amount of flavanols than milk chocolate. Flavanols have unique nutritional values, including lower blood pressuring, relaxing blood vessels, improving blood flow, and lowering the risk of diabetes. In addition, studies have revealed a correlation between high cocoa intake and a lowered risk of heart disease. Dark Chocolate is Rich in…
Not sure just where this “belongs” – but it does track historically – -
Many years ago I read a study that had followed mothers and their chocolate eating and their children. It seems that there was a correlation between mothers who are “chocla-holics” and the similar preference for all things chocolate by their daughters, somewhat more than sons. I can attest to the validity of that finding with my mother and myself. Her daily “pick me up” was a chocolate bar and a soda. My three sons do like chocolate and one seems to be more strongly drawn to it, but not as strongly and my mother or me. I can pass up all flavors of cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc. EXCEPT – chocolate. My day starts with a large ( 2 cups +) chocolate milk made with dark chocolate powder and a small amount of unprocessed cane sugar – hot in the winter and cold in summer. I’m almost 74 and never had blood pressure issues. – YEAH Chocolate!
A similar topic study explains a little more about acquired tastes – this is not the one I first read, it is a little too recent – How a child’s food preferences begin in the womb – by Amy Fleming
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