Whilst I have written about the wonderful cacao powder (the raw material of chocolate if you like) before, I thought with the approach of Easter I would write about my favourite decadent ‘treat’.
I love dark chocolate, I crave it as an after dinner dessert. It has to be at least 70% cocoa solids content though.
Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties provided by flavonoids such as catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins.¹
You may have heard of catechins mentioned along with green tea which is rich in them. Think of them as the good guys for offsetting the bad guys we eat/absorb/drink/inhale everyday!
A compound found in cocoa called theobromine has apparently some similar affects on the body to that of caffeine, by means of mood and alertness.² Some people report nausea as a side effect (me!) of eating too much dark chocolate in one sitting possibly due to the actions of theobromine and caffeine especially if you are sensitive to these compounds anyway. Heart palpitations have also been reported from eating very dark chocolate in some individuals.
Everything in moderation of course but having switched over to the dark side – so to speak – I don’t crave the cheaper milk chocolate anymore. Tins of Roses/Celebrations at Christmas or Easter time do nothing for me now. My fix comes from squares of dark chocolate and my bread bin (they have to reside somewhere!) always has a stash..
Some of my favourite dark chocolate selections currently;♥
(excuse the camera flash!)
Wilkies brand is soooo good but quite expensive, more so than the others shown on this page. A nice present for a foodie choco-holic at Easter maybe ..?
and I could add many more 😉
Dark chocolate may be beneficial for artery function, check out Dr Michael Greger‘s post here on NutritionFacts.org which discusses how the antioxidants in dark chocolate (with less of a high fat and sugar content than that found in milk chocolate), may have a beneficial effect on heart health.