North Shore, Auckland 0620 PO Box 31645
021 254 9159
Happy World Chocolate Day!

I highly recommend you eat some to celebrate!

Cacao means “food of the gods” in Greek.  Chocoholics rejoice!  Dark chocolate is rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and antioxidants.

The antioxidants in chocolate (flavonoids and polyphenols) are known to enhance blood flow, lower blood pressure, decrease oxidised LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase brain function.  Dark chocolate can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, as the two major risk factors of heart disease are high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Choose a dark chocolate that is 80%+ cocoa.  Even better, use straight cacao or cocoa powder to reap the benefits without the added sugar.

Cacao vs. Cocoa.  Cacao is the fancy ‘superfood’ version, while cocoa is the ordinary baking version.  But the key difference is cacao is raw, made from pressed cacao beans.  Cocoa is heated, made from roasted cocoa beans.  Being raw, cacao is king containing all of the antioxidants in the original Theobroma cacao bean.

20-30g of dark chocolate per day is a healthy intake and most research is based on this range.  One teaspoon to one tablespoon of cacao powder can be added to smoothies and protein shakes.  Or more in raw treats like bliss balls or avocado chocolate mousse!

The only caution is that chocolate naturally contains a small amount of caffeine and a mild stimulant called theobromine.  It is less stimulating than caffeine, but ideally you wouldn’t consume it in the later hours of the day.  Too much at night may turn you into an insomniac (speaking from experience)!

Top tip!  Buy dark chocolate instead of your favourite (naughty) chocolate so when you go to the pantry looking for your favourite chocolate, the only option is 80%+ dark chocolate!

Your Nutrition Mentor,