Healthy chocolate sounds like a concept meant for fairytales. Although it has not reached the level of quinoa or kale with respect to health status, research has started to come to light that the right chocolate could actually be good for you - with moderation in mind!
For example, an increasing number of studies suggest that it is good for heart health… And then there’s hemp.
Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains undetectable amounts of the psychoactive compounds found in other strains.
Production of the plant has many eco-friendly uses and its seeds can have their oils extracted. Hemp seed also comes with a variety of health benefits.
You put the two together and you have one of the tastiest ways to consume hemp - in chocolate!
Since we started making it, we’ve become what you could call ‘enthusiasts’ about hemp chocolate. So, we want to talk a bit about why we like to call hemp chocolate the healthiest chocolate in the world.
Research suggests that chocolate is good for your heart because of a compound found in cocoa beans known as ‘Flavanols’. These are among the most promising nutritional components due to the apparent potential to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Aside from its cardiovascular benefits, chocolate is also said to be high in antioxidants.
Some say that antioxidants can help protect cells against ‘free-radicals’, which in turn is said to prevent ‘negative’ cell development - everything from signs of ageing to cancer.
Some studies suggest that antioxidants reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent dementia.
But before gouging your face with commercial confectionery, it’s important to think about the different types of chocolate and how they vary in nutritional content. Before we get started, let’s look at what makes chocolate, chocolate.
Also known as unsweetened chocolate, it forms the bases of the other types. It is made from cocoa nibs found within the seeds. The nibs are finely crushed and heated to a liquid. This liquid can then be shaped into bars or chips. This is then known as 100% cocoa.
When subjected to high pressures, it separates into two layers: cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
This is the chocolate most of us knew of since childhood. It possesses a creamy texture, milk flavour and light brown colour. It is a combination of chocolate liquor, sugar and milk. Sometimes it includes soy lecithin as an emulsifier.
The FDA defines milk chocolate as containing at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk. It is seen as the middle ground between the very soft and sweet white chocolate and the harder, more bitter dark chocolate.
Since it contains less cocoa products and more dairy and plenty of sugar, it might not be the best choice for people who want the best health benefits out of chocolate.
This is known for its deep, dark colour - and is not a favourite among kids. Why?
Dark chocolate is not as sweet as milk chocolate. Recently, there has been an increase in the popularity of this type of chocolate because of the health benefits we mentioned earlier on.
Since it has a relatively high content of cocoa, the benefits that come from this compound are also magnified. On top of that, dark chocolate will have a lower refined sugar concentration.
It is made up of only two components, chocolate liquor and sugar. High-quality dark chocolate does not contain any added dairy and this makes it a good choice for vegans. The FDA requires it to contain at least 15% chocolate liquor, but it usually contains up to 50%
It is basically a darker, more bitter, firmer dark chocolate. It has a chocolate liquor content of 35% and above. This usually is more than 66%.
This was discovered in 2017 by a Belgian chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut. It possesses a red-pink hue that sets it aside from other chocolate and is only obtained from a specific species of cacao.
There is no FDA requirement yet since it is new. It has an intense fruity flavour that distinguishes it.
So, what do we use?
Dark chocolate… but even less processed than your average dark chocolate. Allow us to explain!
The main difference between raw and dark chocolate is that raw chocolate has enzymes that are preserved due to being exposed to less processing.
The extra enzymes leftover are good for the heart and improve digestion. Aside from enzymes, raw chocolate is richer in vitamins and minerals.
Another difference is in the sugar and milk content. Most dark chocolate contains added sugar and milk (though minimally). Raw chocolate will have less, or none at all. Despite this, the taste is not very different.
Raw chocolate is also free of mycotoxins because it is made through a unique processing method that does not result in these undesirable byproducts. Mycotoxins are produced by fungi, and found in fermented foods. They are associated with food allergies and reduced immunity.
We only fill our hemp chocolate with the highest quality Australian hemp seeds and organic cacao. Loaded with the health benefits of omega 3,6 & 9, antioxidants, magnesium, and more… Our specialty hemp chocolate has been ticking all the boxes for a healthy treat since 2017.
...And now you know.
There are many kinds of chocolate with differences in nutritional value. However, there are only a few types that actually leave a positive footprint on our bodies.
Hemp chocolate can offer the benefits and flavour of both cacao and hemp seed alike... But remember, moderation is key to everything.