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Dark Chocolate: Sweet Treat or Healthy Snack?

The short answer is: Both! Everyone already knows how great premium dark chocolate tastes, but clinical studies have also proven that 70% Dark Chocolate has heart health benefits, can reduce the risk of diabetes and can even improve our mood. In fact, dark chocolate’s role as a serious health food isn’t even a new concept.

History of Chocolate

Chocolate has been a big thing for over 3,400 years, with traces of cocoa discovered in ancient Olmec ceremonial pots in Mexico dating back to 1500 BC. The Olmecs’ need for a chocolate fix was passed down to the Mayans and the Aztecs, who believed that chocolate was a gift from the gods. It was one of the first trade goods brought back to Spain by Columbus, and by the 1600s, knowledge of its charms had spread throughout Europe, with chocolate plantations spreading throughout the countryside while chocolate houses for well to do snack seekers popped up in all the fashionable cities, like ye olde Starbucks.

 Chocolate As Candy

By the 1800s, Swiss chocolatiers figured out how to make mass market chocolate with different blends and processes. Over the past century or so, manufacturers learned to add milk, butter fat, vegetable oil, artificial colors or flavors, surrendering many of chocolate’s health benefits to focus on people’s sweet tooths instead. What was once considered a gift from the gods had been turned into candy.

 But not all chocolate is created equal.

 Dark Chocolate: Clinically Proven Health Benefits

They may be related, but premium 70% Dark Chocolate is completely different from confectionary chocolate, in that it contains 70% cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, while confectionary or milk chocolate contains only 10 to 50% cocoa solids, the balance being sugar, soy lecithin and other additives. While 70% Dark Chocolate is rich in iron, copper and magnesium, it’s the flavanols – natural antioxidants – that truly set it apart. Dark Chocolate contains 200 to 300% more flavanols than milk chocolate. There are numerous studies suggesting that flavanols may help protect the heart by improving blood flow and lowering inflammation and blood pressure. They’ve also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which in the long run could reduce risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Being lower in sugar than milk chocolate as well as low glycemic can also help with Diabetes. And a new UCL/University of Alberta study (involving over 13,000 people) found that people who ate dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods had a 70 per cent lower chance of feeling depressed than those who did not eat chocolate. So chocolate cheers you up, is that news? Yes, because the depression lowering effect was only with dark chocolate eaters, not those who ate milk chocolate.

Bridgepeak™ 70% Dark Chocolate Bark has lots of benefits beyond great taste. Try it, we know you’ll love it.

Snack with Confidence!

Dan Johnstone
Co-Founder – Bridgepeak Nutrition Inc.

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