The Health Benefits and Upcoming Trends of Dark Chocolate
Chocolate. Sweet, heavenly chocolate. It’s everybody’s weakness. But did you know this delightful treat might not be as big of a weakness as you thought?
Originating from the Mayan word xocolatl, thousands of years ago cocoa or cacao was consumed for not only its taste, but for its medicinal properties. Ancient Mayans would use cacao in all their religious ceremonies, believing the bean had magical qualities. They would split open cacao pods and remove the beans. The beans were then crushed, roasted, and ground into a paste which was mixed with chili and water. This became what we now know today as Hot Chocolate.
Now, obviously, chocolate won’t give you magical superpowers, but it is a superfood.
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Lower Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk
Dark chocolate is full of phytochemicals, which are basically chemical compounds found in plants that aid in the prevention of different diseases. One of these chemicals includes flavanol, which is a phytochemical proven to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps your blood pressure. Dark chocolate is so filled with flavanols, that it beats nearly every super fruit powder in its flavanol content. Yes, even acai!
Improved Brain Function and Skin
Flavanol has also been shown to help with the brain activity. Flavanol dilates blood vessels which also more oxygen and blood flow to your brain. This means that eating dark chocolate will not only improve your cognitive ability, but lower fatigue. Additionally, this phytochemical will help reduce signs of aging and protect your skin against UV radiation.
Dark chocolate is antioxidant rich too, so be sure to incorporate this treat into your diet! But, as always, remember to use portion control.
The Top Three Upcoming Chocolate Trends
Matcha + Dark Chocolate
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nutrition Nut on the Run
Boost your metabolism with matcha and protect your skin with dark chocolate! Try Hillary Parker’s Matcha Dark Chocolate Truffles recipe for a mix of bitter and sweet.
Make It Here.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Opeeqo
Stir up some flavor with dark chocolate spoons! Simply dip your favorite spoon in melted chocolate and refrigerate. With fun decorations and a taste too delicious to miss, make sure to add these to your coffee routine.
Mayan Hot Chocolate
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Minimalist Baker
Get your spice on with Mayan hot chocolate! This ancient recipe is made with a little less sugar and little more chili to brighten your palette. Check out Minimalist Baker’s vegan recipe.
Make It Here.