Dark chocolate has long been recognized as a healthy treat. As many American’s have savored this festive indulgence on Valentine’s Day or celebrate National Chocolate Lover’s Month, it’s good to know what the standards are surrounding dark chocolate health benefits. To get the most antioxidant benefits from cocoa beans it’s best to pick chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. A higher cocoa percentage typically means the product is lower in sugar and is associated with heart health benefits.
Another tip for purchasing healthy dark chocolate is to look at the ingredient list. Look for cocoa, or a form of cocoa, as the first ingredient. Also avoid dark chocolate that contains trans fat, artificial flavors or high amounts of sugar. It’s also wise to look for fair trade organic chocolate. This kind of chocolate is usually more ethically sourced and pesticide-free. Visit the Clearly Organic blog for a homemade chocolate recipe this month.