cacao

No one is saying, don’t eat chocolate. After all, it is the most craved food bestowed humankind. Women lust for it during PMS. We all reach for it when we’re depressed. And sometimes it beseeches us simply because it’s 3:00… or 8:00 or 5:00. In fact, it is very possible to eat chocolate everyday as a part of a healthy lifestyle. The trick is in the technique.

Not all chocolate is created equal. Get smart about what kind of gooey goodness is good enough for your body and avoid high sugar, over processed “candy bars.” Conventional candy is loaded with unhealthy additives that, well, aren’t chocolate and are drained of nutritional value. Satisfying your craving with a Kit Kat will feel great while you’re munching and pretty good as your sugar spikes, but as it quickly drops off, you’ll be left void of energy, lethargic and perhaps even a little guilty.

Opt for dark chocolate, at least sixty percent cocoa. The more cocoa, the more flavonoids which carry a host of health benefits. A couple squares of dark chocolate with a dollop of your favorite nut butter smoothed over the top (I like cashew!) will help your body process the sugar, and you’ll be left oh-so-satisfied without the slump. For a couple suggestions, check out Laura Klein’s review of five different organic chocolates.

If you’re striving for greatness – seeking the most nourishing chocolate there is – cacao, or raw chocolate, is the crème de la crème. It’s bursting with magnesium and polyphenols, contains no sugar, and can also suppress your appetite. With the raw lifestyle continuing to grow in popularity, you can consult that little raw section at your grocers for some deliciously healthy treats, or even create your own. You will have to shell out some decent bucks for the good stuff, but perhaps that will aid you in the most important adage when it comes to chocolate consumption: quality over quantity!

Image: kevindooley