Is chocolate healthy? This is one popular question indeed, and there is in fact a simple answer. Due to its anti-oxidants, the chocolate is indeed healthy, but the catch is that this is only true before other ingredients are added to it. Another health claim of dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) is that it lowers blood pressure. Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, and the pods of this tree with the seeds inside them are processed into various products. In its purest form, cacao has a bitter taste, hence the addition of sweeteners by most manufacturers. It is at this point where chocolate usually takes a turn from being healthy to being unhealthy.
Conventional chocolate bars from big candy companies can be full of artificial sweeteners, flavors, oil, and other ingredients that you don’t really want to put in your body. On the other hand, in the last decade health food stores all over have started selling cacao nibs, both raw and roasted for people to use. They definitely don’t taste like a chocolate bar, but the crunchy, nutty flavor of them is great mixed with lots of things. If you still want a sweet chocolate bar that is healthy in small doses, your best bet is to get a dark chocolate with a high cacao content: Good quality dark chocolate will say right on the label the % of cacao in it. This percentage includes both cacao solids and cacao butter. Generally, the higher the percentage of cacao, the stronger and more intense the chocolate flavor is going to be. Experiment a bit, and see which one you like best. A healthy dark chocolate is going to be much better for you than a milk or white chocolate. If you are looking for a gift for someone, make sure you check out our vegan gift baskets, filled with vegan cookies and other healthy treats.
Healthy Raw Chocolate
Although the vast majority of the chocolate eaten throughout the world is roasted and processed with heat, in recent years raw chocolate has gained a bit of a following. You can now get raw cacao nibs (small pieces of the cacao seeds), raw cocoa powder, raw whole cacao beans, and of course processed raw chocolate bars mixed with other natural sweeteners and ingredients to make it taste good.
You Can Buy Raw Chocolate Here.
Xocai Healthy Chocolate
One of the highly publicized producers of healthy chocolate these days comes from the Xocai brand. They produce a range of products that have chocolate as a main ingredient, mixed with acai berries, blueberries, and other ingredients that give an antioxidant punch. Make sure you look at the ingredients before you buy, since some of their products (such as the Xocai Activ drink) contain dairy. Find Them Here.
Healthy Chocolate Cake
If you are a vegan or vegetarian and are trying you hardest to stick to a strictly healthy diet, you are probably well aware of how hard it can be to find a piece of healthy chocolate cake that you can feel good about eating. As far as healthy chocolate cakes go, you pretty much have two options: 1) You can buy a piece at your local health food store for $5 per slice, or 2) You can make your own. If you want to make your own healthy chocolate cake easily, I suggest getting one of the Vegan Friendly Cake Mixes Here. This Vegan Chocolate Cake Mix is gluten free as well.