Before bypassing those chocolate gift baskets containing things like chocolate truffles, toffee, and dipped fruit, consider the health benefits of chocolate. This may put chocolate gifts back on the shopping list because premium chocolate can actually be good for the body. In addition, there is vegan chocolate for those who enjoy an animal-free lifestyle. Why not do a body good while enjoying a tasty treat?
Chocolate comes from the seed of the cacao tree and has been consumed since about 1,100 BC. The Aztecs were one of many Mesoamerican civilizations to make chocolate beverages. Chocolate has gone on to become one of the most popular types of food in the world. Chocolate gifts come in animal shapes during certain holidays, such as eggs and bunnies on Easter, hearts on Valentine’s Day, and coins on Hanukkah.
Though it is mainly consumed for pleasure, there are several health benefits of chocolate. The circulatory system is positively affected by dark chocolates or cocoa. Research is currently exploring benefits including brain stimulation, anticancer and antidiarrheal qualities, and cough prevention. However, it is important that decadent chocolate pieces be consumed in moderation to prevent obesity resulting from fat content, milk, and sugars.
According to sources in the medical community, dark chocolates have health benefits not witnessed in other varieties. People with high blood pressure or who are worried about heart disease are now enjoying chocolate truffles and other premium chocolate to address the conditions. Health benefits of chocolate of the dark variety include lowering blood pressure levels for those who have mild high blood pressure and have reached a certain age. However, the extra calories from eating chocolate should be balanced by consuming less of other foods.
Dark chocolates also contain antioxidants that consume destructive free radicals. These harmful molecules can lead to ailments like heart disease if they become too prevalent. However, milk can interfere with the body’s absorption of these antioxidants, so it should not be consumed with dark chocolate. Chocolate should be used to replace other sweets rather than healthy foods and as mentioned before, moderation is the key.
Those who want to enjoy even more of the health benefits of chocolate may want to try vegan chocolate. This premium chocolate is made with cocoa mass, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sugar, vanilla, and brown sugar subjected to a non-bone char process. Vegan chocolate gifts include toffee, pecans, cashews, chocolate bars, and chocolate truffles.