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Chocolate Made Me Healthier?

Chocolate Made Me Healthier?

In this post, I plan to share how certain forms of chocolate made me healthier in certain ways. This is not a traffic-hungry title, nor is it a wackadoodle wellness prescription. However, if you are anti-anecdote across the board, stop reading here. Unless you like to hear the “other side,” which I recommend for bolstering your stance on any topic, especially scientific ones.¬†

So. Chocolate made me healthier?

In a few key areas, yes. I am not advocating for you to drown your sorrows in fudge sauce or shovel chocolate chips into your mouth with reckless abandon. Don’t fool yourself. I’m not even suggesting the hyper-pricey “natural” chocolate bars are beneficial. “Fair trade” and “plant-based” do not guarantee good health, but they mean you bought into great marketing.

Problems: Iron Deficiency, Lower GI Upset, Morning Constipation

Solutions: Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 88-100% Dark Chocolate Bars

In addition to chocolate, I ate soy-based spaghetti, lentils, beans, and protein powder. Those foods previously appeared in my diet, but not at the same frequency or amount as I consumed once under medical pressure. I truly attribute cocoa powder (yes, even the store brand stuff,) with preventing anemia. For OPTIMAL absorption, consume with a hefty dose of Vitamin C (fruit.) Also, due to the high fiber content of chocolate, drink at least a glass of water with your snack serving.

Chocolate Bean-Dipped Strawberries! Vitamin C + Cocoa= Vegan Iron Love.

Improvements: HIGH Iron Levels, Smoother Digestion, Morning Regularity, Mood Boost

Sounds too good to be true, right? Too woo-woo for you? I thought so, too. And again, take this with a grain of iodized salt. If you have a confirmed caffeine sensitivity or hate chocolate, do not try to force down the cacao. But, adding extra dark chocolate to my diet did the opposite of harm, and it may work the same magic within you. Another component worth noting; I LOVE rich, sugar-free chocolate. As in, not even the stevia-sweetened stuff. Give it to me black, baby!

How I incorporated the “good kinds” of chocolate (every. morning:)

  • Smoothies/Mousses/Ice Creams: Adding 3+ tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to any of these sweet staples covers up to 40% of your daily iron needs! Start with my blueberry cinnamon mocha shake or chocolate chipotle pecan ice cream!
  • Teeny Poppers: Not funny*. But in all genuity, balls are popular for a reason. Just pop ’em into your mouth and reap the benefits! You can concentrate a ton of calories, protein, and fiber into one convenient package, like these speedy, 2-ingredient dark chocolate truffles.¬†
  • The Classic Dessert Route: Nibble on some squares after dinner. If you can handle the 100% dark Baker’s bars, those are best. 1 serving is only 70 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 15% of the RDA for iron and magnesium.**

*as in teeny boppers. How older generations refer to music-addicted younger ones.

**If you need to drastically restrict your saturated fat intake, then cocoa POWDER is your pal. Also, caffeine right before bedtime is pas bienvenue (not welcome) for easy sleep. Try to suck on your chocolate bar 3 hours before you hit the sack.

Best Brands:

  • Chocolove Extreme (88%– I think the bar has 120% of the iron RDA!)
  • Baker’s 100% unsweetened (Does NOT taste bland or bitter. I crave this stuff!)
  • Lindt 100% unsweetened (It may have been discontinued, but I love how thin and gorgeous the squares are/were.)
  • Hershey’s original cocoa powder OR the Special Dark variety (endless uses)

Best Chocolate Alternatives:

  • Carob powder: Duh. This is a hippie pantry staple. New carob club members should try it in hot “chocolate.” You’ll be shocked at the natural sweetness! Almost as if nature made hot cocoa drink mix before men…
  • Tomato Soup Cake: Don’t scoff or spit on your screen. Bakers and scientists cannot explain why the richness of this cake is so reminiscent of grandma’s cocoa cake, but taste-testers tout its uncanny similarity.
  • Maca: Okay, maybe this is more like a cross between peanut butter, butterscotch, and caramel, but pair it with carob and bim-bam-boom! Twix from Mother Earth’s kitchen.
  • Black Sapote: Seek out the closest Asian grocery store to pick up this exotic fruit! I’ve tried it. All nursing homes should swap chocolate pudding for this because it’s a total cop-out with fewer health risks.
  • Cocoa Butter: The blank stuff. This is more like white chocolate, but sometimes nothing will pair better with your Christmas cookies or raspberry/red velvet recipe needs.

The list above will not provide the same iron-upping effects as real cacao, but most offer valuable vitamins and minerals. Try adding them to your day or week regardless of your goals or requirements. Chocolate made me healthier, and it could do the same for you.

Best Dishes and Health-Wise Wishes,

The Hippie Happy Foodist‚ĄĘ

2 Comments

  1. […] The entire batch is only 260 calories! They are a little smaller than regular Oreos, but you can remedy that by flattening them a bit. I do NOT encourage binge-eating, and I acknowledge that eating too much erythritol too often can hurt one’s tummy, but sometimes it’s fun to enjoy unlimited amounts of nostalgia. Especially when those foods are whole-grain, minimally processed, and high in vitamins! […]

  2. Ay when are you gonna talk about weed? But ya cacao is good for you. I drink it every morning.

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