Organic Chocolate: A No-Guilt Indulgency!

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Talk About Food
Organic chocolate is extremely versatile. It’s a snack, a sweet or a beverage. Commercial chocolate is derived from the theobroma cacao tree. The cacao pods are carefully processed through fermentation, drying, conching (agitation), roasting, and tempering (heating) to produce what we know as cocoa.

The use of cacao goes back to the Aztecs, who believed it was a source of wisdom, energy and that it served as an aphrodisiac. Montezuma used to drink chocolate from a gold goblet. This product then traveled to Europe, where the first eating chocolate was created in 1849 in England. And so, chocolate bars were born.

Nowadays the world knows of the health benefits of chocolate – not to mention the fact that organic chocolate helps our environment. A chocolate bar contains as much antioxidant power as a glass of red wine. The phenols in chocolate are known to help the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, and promote heart health. Dark chocolate, pound for pound, has higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries! Dark chocolate also contains more flavanoids than green tea.

For centuries, chocolate has been known to soothe the soul. That’s because chocolate boosts the brain chemicals serotonin and endorphin. These chemicals produce a feeling of euphoria. Another compound called anandamide has known calming properties. The ultimate comfort food? You bet!

Chocolate’s other ingredients include magnesium and chromium (known to regulate blood sugar); theobromine which stimulates the central nervous system and is an appetite stimulant; caffeine (in relatively small quantities); and tryptophan (an essential amino acid).

Why organic chocolate?

If chocolate is so good for you, why go organic? For many of the same reasons that buying organic is better in the first place. You can support fair trade practices in the forests of South American countries where cacao beans are grown. Shade grown beans encourage biodiversity, and you avoid toxic chemicals. OK, we certainly don’t need any more convincing – organic chocolate, top on our shopping list!

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