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Easter Chocolate: All You Need to Know About Choosing Healthy Chocolate this Easter

You don’t have to give up eating chocolate just because you want to eat healthily. But you do need to choose the right chocolate this Easter, the type that brings positive health benefits and isn’t laden with disastrously unhealthy added fats and sugars.

When you’re choosing chocolate Easter eggs this year, remember these facts:

Healthy chocolate What does chocolate contain, that’s excellent for you? The cocoa bean, from which chocolate is made, contains antioxidants, as well as the minerals copper, magnesium and iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E. Research into chocolate shows that it can improve boost immunity, lower blood pressure and may even help to protect against cancer properties. Dark chocolate can lower cholesterol levels. And the chemical serotonin found in chocolate is a fantastic natural anti-depressant.

Choosing excellent chocolate Sad to say, a lot of mass-produced chocolate bars do not give you all these health benefits. Why? Because they contain very small cocoa solids, and way too much sugar, fats and other additives. Also, manufacturing processes have probably robbed them of what small nutritional value they had. To get the health benefits of chocolate, choose dark varieties, containing 65 per cent or more cocoa solids. These types of chocolate taste rich, with a complex flavour – and provide you with all the health benefits of the cocoa bean.

Recognising excellent chocolate Look for a glossy surface, and dark colour with reddish-black undertones. The chocolate should break crisply when you snap it. Look for brands with no or low added sugar and a cocoa-solid content of 60% or more. Try to find trade brands, and also look out for organic chocolate such as Green & Blacks.

How much chocolate to eat Top quality chocolate should be savoured, so don’t wolf those eggs down at a sitting. Make them last over 3-4 days. At other times of year, one or two squares of excellent chocolate, eaten twice or three times a week, can be part of a healthy diet, as long as you’re also getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

This year, at Easter, remember these chocolate facts, and buy an egg that tastes fantastic and does your health a excellent turn.

Elizabeth Martyn is webmaster at healthy-eating-made-simple.com healthy-eating-made-simple.com, where she provides information, tips and recipes on using seasonal, fresh ingredients to feed the family healthily and without hassle.

Now you know how to choose chocolate, find out how to use it, in tasty healthy-eating-made-simple.com/chocolate-recipes.html chocolate recipes. There are also over healthy-eating-made-simple.com/simple-healthy-recipes.html 120 simple healthy recipes for family meals on the site.

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