This week I wrapped up an article for Vega News, featuring the top 5 reasons to switch to, or emphasize, dark chocolate.
Perfect timing for halloween treats, and soon Christmas prep. Read your labels though, and keep these guidelines in mind:
- It’s possible to find dark chocolate with a low sugar content, look for varieties that contain less refined sugars like cane or coconut where possible.
- The sugar content should also not be the most substantial ingredient (i.e. appearing first in the ingredients list), or the largest volume in the bar (compared to fats or protein content) by weight (g) when reading the nutrition facts panel.
- Avoid versions that have artificial flavours or preservatives, and the cleanest bars will have the fewest, yet pronounceable ingredients.
- Read your labels and aim for gluten, soy and dairy free brands. This will aid with digestibility and nutrient absorption, by minimizing digestive sensitivities.
- Look for fairly traded varieties to support fair wages and safe working conditions in many of the less developed countries/continents where cacao is harvested. (Did you know Africa produces 70% of the worlds cacao?!)
- Organic chocolate is also an important to choice to keep your potential toxin load low, and to protect the natural landscapes where it’s grown.
One of my favorite health tips featured in the article (that you may not have known) is the ability for dark chocolate to increase the presence of a molecule, nitric oxide:
Help regulate blood sugar
Cocoa’s flavanoids may influence blood sugar regulation and blood flow. Studies (see full article link below), have found dark chocolate to increase the availability of a molecule called nitric oxide. This supports the body in regulating blood sugar, and also dilates blood vessels for better circulation of nutrients into the muscle tissue.
Cool right?! For the full article, and 4 more reasons to switch to dark chocolate, head on over to Vega News: Top 5 Reasons to Switch to Dark Chocolate
My favorite brand?
Incorporate dark cacao in these recipes:
No Bake Brownies by Julie Morris