You will be surprised about the fact that cacao has the same antioxidant properties as the greens, such spinach, raisins, prunes, kale, and Brussels sprouts, combined. The principal scientist at The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, Jeff Hurst, PhD, found that cacao, the main ingredient for dark chocolate, contains more than 700 compounds. The significant compounds are 26 known anti-inflammatories, 14 antiseptics, 12 analgesics, and two anesthetics.
Why is cacao called the new broccoli?
The recent research shows that cacao helps lowering blood pressure, reduces blood clotting and improves circulation, thanks to the flavonoids, or antioxidant-rich plant pigments.
The significant amount of the flavonoid resveratrol in Dark chocolate is also found in red wine, why the both are good for heart’s health. The cocoa was, also shown as a cancer-fighting plant phenols.
Why doesn’t dark chocolate cause gaining weight?
Eating a dark chocolate daily, according to recent studies, reduces food cravings (only 100 grams will be enough). It is suggested that snacking on 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily can decrease stress hormones, for two weeks, which is also linked to keeping calories away.
You should consider that cacao comes from a fruit (the seeds of a fruit) of cacao trees. They are grown commercially in equatorial regions. After scooping out the pulp, farmers allow it to ferment before harvesting the beans to enhance flavor and reduce their bitterness.
In the process of production of chocolates, some manufacturers add preservatives and artificial ingredients such as corn syrup and hydrogenated oils to roasted beans. For a healthy chocolate those unhealthy—and unnecessary—additives should be avoided, so choose your chocolate brand wisely. Checking the ingredient labels you can be sure that you’re not getting more than you bargained for.
Be aware that cacao nibs and cocoa powder are single-ingredient foods, so they should contain only nibs or only powder. The chocolate should not contain any added fats other than cocoa butter,except the milk fat in the milk chocolate.
Cacao nibs, which are cacao beans that have been fermented, roasted, stripped of their husks, and broken into bits, can be used as a natural form of cacao. They are richest in cacao content of all edible chocolate, without sugar, and should taste fruity, not bitter.
– Substitute nibs for walnuts in banana bread (half the measurement of nuts that the recipe calls for).
– You can also mix nibs with cashews and dried fruit (cherries or cranberries), for a new twist on trial mix.
The focus of much of chocolate’s recent health research has been on high-cacao dark chocolate. As there is no official classification for dark chocolate, those which contain between 55 percent and 99 percent cacao, can be counted as dark.
The remaining percentage of ingredients in dark chocolate can be sugar and less than 1 percent can be added vanilla and soy lecithin.
The rule for healthy dark chocolate: The higher the cacao content, the less sugar.
Comparing with a dark, milk chocolate can contain as little as 10 percent cacao, making dark chocolate a far healthier treat. As there is no magic number for cacao it is a personal preference how dark you like your chocolate.
– In a cheese plate, serve a dish arranged with fresh fruits, organic nuts and finely gourmet dark chocolates, and enjoy your next dinner party.
– Melt 3 ounces of dark chocolate with 1 ounce of cold-pressed olive oil to get a heart-healthy fondue (add fresh fruit for dipping).
The first time on the market the cocoa powder was found in 1828 when Dutchman Coenraad van Houten invented a press that could remove cocoa butter from cacao beans. The cacao beans contain about 50 percent fat, and when the cocoa butter is pressed it is much eliminated, and in the cocoa powders will be found as little as 12 percent fat.
Comparing contain resveratrol in cocoa and dark chocolate in a 2009 study was found that the cocoa powder is richer than dark chocolate. According to that study when 40 grams of cocoa powder is dissolved in skim milk can help reduce arterial inflammation, which can cause cardiovascular disease.
You should look for a natural cocoa like Scharffen Berger Sweetened Natural Cocoa Powder.
Some all-natural cocoa doesn’t dissolve in liquid as easily as typical brands, but they offer significantly more antioxidants.
– Use cocoa as an addition to chili con Carne,
– Combining the dry powder with sea salt for a rub on grilled meat.