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Organic Raw Chocolates
While raw chocolate implies that the cocoa has neither been heated nor been processed and hence, has preserved all its natural ingredients, organic chocolate implies that no preservatives, chemicals, or fillers have been used during the production of the chocolate. Hence, while organic raw chocolate carries with it health benefits, processed chocolates, which contain fats, chemicals, fillers and preservatives, block antioxidants and are not at all beneficial for the health of our children.
An all-time favorite of children, dark chocolate tastes great and have many health benefits. There is something in the chocolate that leaves everyone, from children to adults, craving for more or it. Studies have shown that children tend to eat less of junk food after eating dark chocolate. Dark chocolates contains high proportions of flavanoids – compounds which help to lower blood sugar, helps to improve cognitive function and vascular function and prevents our skin from harmful UV rays.
Research carried out by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne involved school children between the ages of 10 – 12 who were fed dark chocolate with high antioxidant content daily for seven days. Professor Melissa Wake, Researcher and pediatrician, found little difference in the children’s blood pressure, weight, body fat as well as waist circumference which were measured before as well as after consumption of the chocolates.
The higher the percentage of cocoa, the higher is the flavanoids content. Opt for chocolates which have 60% percent or higher cocoa even though the bitterness may increase with the increase in cocoa content, which is due to the presence of the flavanoids. Since the cocoa content is also higher, dark chocolates are more nutritious than other chocolates. Higher amount of cocoa presence means that there is more of protein and fiber content but, at the same time, less of fat and sugar content.
Dark chocolates may sometimes contain fillings of marshmallow and caramel which result in adding more sugar and also calories to the chocolate, which already is high in calories and thus makes it a good reason for avoiding filled dark chocolates.
Chocolates containing milk are also not beneficial for children. The milk binds itself to the flavanoids and makes them unavailable for the body thus making it devoid of any health benefits.
Go for chocolates which are made with cocoa butter as this is less likely to affect your child’s cholesterol levels. Chocolates that are made with other fats like hydrogenated oil, palm or coconut oil are sure to affect the cholesterol levels of your child in the long run.
Dark chocolate is high in fat content, which results in making it high in calories also. So, limit your child’s consumption of chocolates per day. Twenty eight grams of dark chocolate a day is enough for your child to reap its health benefits. Seventy percent of this amount of the chocolate contains 11.9 grams of fat and 167 calories.
According to a study which was published in Endocrine Abstracts in 2014, consuming 20 grams of dark chocolate per day for four weeks lowered the insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
Though organic chocolates were unavailable just a few years back, a plethora of flavored, tasty and excellent certified organic chocolates are now found in abundance. They are delicious whether they are eaten in chunks, baked into pastries, whisked into desserts or blended as truffles. Click here for more on organic chocolates.
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