Celebrate Valentine's Day with Low GI Dark Chocolate
Chocolate comes from a fruit called a pod that grows on the cacao tree. A seedling tree generally must mature for five years before it produces pods, with peak pod production happening at 10 years. A cocoa tree can bear fruit and produce pods for 30 to 40 years. Each pod is similar in size to a football, and contains up to 50 cocoa beans. To make one ounce of milk chocolate, it takes 4 cocoa beans, and one ounce of dark chocolate requires 12 beans. An average American or Canadian will consume about 12 pounds of chocolate per year. However, the Swiss are the world’s largest consumers of chocolate, eating about 22 pounds of chocolate per person per year!
Chocolate Helps to Prevent “Bad” Cholesterol
Chocolate can be good for you. Studies have shown that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate can improve your cardiovascular health. Cocoa beans are rich in phenolics, the same heart protective antioxidants found in wine. These chemicals help lower the risk of heart disease and prevent clot-like substances from clogging arteries.
Stearic acid, a saturated fat found in red meat and chocolate, does not raise cholesterol levels compared to other saturated fats
Another Reason for you to Enjoy Dark Chocolate Chocolate, guilt free
Dark chocolate has been identified has high in Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. ORAC is a method of measuring antioxidant capacity, and has been applied to vegetables, spices, fruits and berries. There is a high correlation between high antioxidant capacity and the free-radical theory of aging - meaning foods high in ORAC help combat the effects of aging due to free-radicals. In every 100g of dark chocolate there are 13,120 ORAC, compared to 5938 in one cup of strawberries or 13,427 in a cup of blueberries.
Chocolate Makes You Feel Great
Chocolate is part of a healthy, balanced diet and it makes you feel great! A substance in chocolate called theobromine triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals, produced by the brain, that act like a natural antidepressant and can temporarily relieve the blues.
Look for packages with a higher percentage of cocoa ( cacao) or dark chocolate. What this refers to is the percentage of cocoa bean solids present in the bar. There is an inverse relationship between the percentage of cocoa in a bar and the amount of sugar. A 75% cocoa bar has 25 percent sugar, the higher the % cocoa, the less sweet the bar ( lower gi) and the stronger the chocolate taste
Happy Valentine's Day!