By Tyler Keenum, Editor
Trying to cure your chocolate cravings? Take the healthier choice and choose dark chocolate, which offers more health benefits than milk or white chocolates.
Q: WHAT KIND OF CHOCOLATE IS HEALTHIEST?
A: Dark chocolate is the healthiest kind of chocolate because it contains ingredients called flavonoids which fight cancer-causing free radicals and minimize aging effects. According to Mayo Clinic, dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, as well as protect the brain from conditions related to high blood pressure or clots. “Dark chocolate can even help lower your cholesterol,” Barb Giese, school nurse, said. A recent study showed that six grams of dark chocolate a day, which is equivalent to about one square, lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure by two points each.
Q: WHY IS DARK CHOCOLATE HEALTHIER?
A: Although many people prefer milk chocolate, which is sweeter than dark chocolate, it is the least healthy because of all the sugar and caffeine it contains. The lower the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the more unhealthy it is, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. While milk chocolate contains up to 50 percent cocoa, dark chocolate is 50 to 85 percent cocoa. That means milk chocolate also contains more milk and sugar than dark, which gives it more calories and fewer flavonoids.
Q: WHAT ARE FLAVONOIDS?
A: Flavonoids are compounds found in plant-based foods which protect them by shielding them from environmental toxins, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
1. Raspberries in Dark Chocolate
This chocolate bar has 55 percent cocoa content, which makes it one of the least bitter dark chocolate bars. It’s also one of the least sugar-filled, with only 13 grams of sugar. Included is a love poem inside, which makes it a great Valentine’s gift.
2. Black Salt Caramel
Vosges’ artisan chocolate bar has 70 percent cocoa, making it one of the more bitter bars out there, but it still has a rich taste. It contains Hawaiian sea salt and burnt sugar caramel. The rich taste will have chocolate lovers swooning after the first bite.
3. Mint Dark Chocolate
This Mint Dark Chocolate Bar is a must taste for choclate lovers, with 70 percent cocoa, and a sweet taste. It also contains peppermint oil and crispy mint pieces. It has a wide variety of ingredients, such as Fair Trade certified vanilla and sugar.