Chocolate’s health benefits are a popular theme for those of us treating ourselves, guilt-free, with a square of the dark cocoa pleasure. Let’s sort the myths from the real deal here. Overall, the higher the percentage, the more pure cocoa, less sugar and other unhealthy additives were added into the slab of hedonistic pleasure.
These are scientifically proved reasons to why you should give or share dark chocolate with anyone you love (including yourself):

  • Chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac therefore cocoa is an ideal component in treats shared by lovers
  • Chocolate is an age-defying anti-oxidant and was coined as a “Super Fruit” with more pronounced positive effects on health than most of other fruits (with high nutritive value)
  • Chocolate contains substances called flavanols that were proved in a number of studies to lower blood pressure and the risk of having a heart attack or stroke
  • Chocolate can help you to fight the adverse effects of stress (by reducing levels of cortisol) and improve your metabolism
  • Chocolate is tasty and loved by many people (if you read this you are surely interested in chocolate) making it an ideal partner in your self-treating regimen

Chocolate heart good for your heart
As I’ve already mentioned, the darker the chocolate the more the chocolate health benefits apply. Of course you should not eat the entire cake or box of truffles you got from your loved one for Valentines. If you treat yourself regularly throughout the year though, you will not succumb to a voracious, deprived, overloading. As an added benefit the more often you and your partner eat dark chocolate, the more euphoria you both experience.
Chocolate Velvet Cake
Have a slice of that yummy Velvet Chocolate Cake or a couple of brownie squares or a truffle or two and you will be set for a romantic soirée. The most important is not to feel any guilt about eating high quality chocolate, as you could null the effect.
When selecting chocolate for others as a gift, keep in mind his or her taste preferences. It shows that you are not selfish but mindful. For those following the paleo, rafined sugar-free diet, there are plenty of choices. HU’s in New York is a great option. Diabetics can also enjoy high-quality chocolates with “sugar-free” bars made by most of the high-end chocolatiers. With low GI, coconut sugar, maltitol, erythritol, and other pleasantly tasting (unlike stevia) sweeteners please the health-conscious chocoholics.
My favorite chocolate makers in Europe are Alain Ducasse (now also sold in London, Japan and soon Bangkok), Pierre Marcolini (can find his Belgian boutiques also in Asia).
In Asia, the French duo behind Marou make incredible chocolates in Vietnam.
In the US, Raaka, Fine & Raw as well as some other bean to bar, small scale manufactories do a great job.
In South America, Q makes sustainably-sourced dark chocolates in Brazil.
Enjoy !