Well­ness: Su­per­foods - Choco­late Healthy_Say What?

Say What?

Howler Magazine - - Contents - by Hen­rik Bod­holdt Visit beach­choco­late­fac­tory.com maleku­choco­late.com

As a choco­late maker, I be­gan “in­fo­tain­ing” tourists and visi­tors to Gua­nacaste more than five years ago. One of my fa­vorite parts of the work­shops I give is about nu­tri­tion. We are all bom­barded al­most daily with news and in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est nu­tri­tional dis­cov­ery when it comes to won­der-food prop­er­ties. Chances are, they will be rav­ing about some veg­etable or root, and more of­ten than not, con­sum­ing these foods can be a bit of a strug­gle as they tend to have a bit­ter or even foul taste.

So when­ever my guests hear me point­ing out that ca­cao is the health­i­est food on earth, I im­me­di­ately get their full at­ten­tion! Roughly 90 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in the modern world eats choco­late at least once a week. That's why so many peo­ple are sur­prised to learn that what we've al­ways con­sid­ered to be candy may ac­tu­ally be good for us.

Im­por­tant dis­tinc­tion: The healthy part of choco­late is not the milk, the sugar, the soy lecithin or any of the other ad­di­tives. It's the ca­cao. If you want to eat healthy choco­late, you will have to fo­cus on choco­late with a high per­cent­age of ca­cao. There is plenty of pack­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion to help to fig­ure this out. Choco­late mak­ers are re­quired to state the per­cent­age of ca­cao on ev­ery bar they sell, so just read the dec­la­ra­tion and pay at­ten­tion.

Dark choco­late with a low sugar con­tent and a high ca­cao per­cent­age is the health­i­est. Or you can just eat the ca­cao all by it­self! You may be sur­prised just how de­li­cious roasted ca­cao nibs are. Try them in a smoothie, on your ice cream, tossed in a salad or as a healthy ad­di­tion to your break­fast ce­real.

So what is it ex­actly that makes ca­cao the health­i­est food on earth? Amaz­ingly, ca­cao con­tains most of the nu­tri­ents and vi­ta­mins we need on a daily ba­sis. It's a very com­plete food — high in a num­ber of min­er­als, high in di­etary fiber, and con­tains a good amount of pro­tein. And when it comes to mag­ne­sium and an­tiox­i­dants, ca­cao is the best source in na­ture, hands down.

If I have awo­ken your cu­rios­ity – or if you just crave good choco­late – you can find me in The Beach Choco­late Fac­tory in Brasil­ito Tues­day to Satur­day 9am to 5pm.

By Hen­rik Bod­holdt

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