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New Research Shows Positive Effects of Chocolate on Pregnant Women

A research project that was carried out in the University of Perugia, Italy was published in the Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine in April.

The goal of the project was to evaluate the effect of dark chocolate consumption on pregnant women.

The research picked up a group of ninety women aged from 18 years old to 40 years old.  The woman were split into two groups.  Group A received thirty grams (that is one ounce – which is about a third of a large chocolate bar or three bars of Healthy Chocolate) of 70% cocoa dark chocolate every day.  Group B was the control group and did not receive the chocolate.

The result of these tests were as follows: Women in group A showed lower blood pressure than women in group B.  Also women in group A showed a lower level of liver enzymes than group B.  No additional weight gain was observed in the participants of group A compared to those of group B.

Both these results are very positive.  The lower blood pressure indicates a healthier cardio-vascular system.  The lower liver enzymes indicate that the liver is less loaded.

One may ask, but what does it mean for Healthy Chocolate?  First of all, Healthy Chocolate is made of 70% dark cocoa which means that at the minimum we would have seen similar results with it.  More over, each woman in group A received an extra 9 grams (1/3 of an ounce) of sugar every day.  With Healthy Chocolate they would not have received it.

There is no mention in the article about the quality of the chocolate used in the research.  Hence, we assume this was not an organic chocolate.  Since healthy chocolate is organic it could only be better than conventional chocolate.

Overall, we think that indeed Healthy Chocolate is great for pregnant women.  Much more so than the chocolate used in the research.

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Chocolate and Caffeine

People keep asking me about caffeine in chocolate.  For some reason, there is an urban legend about chocolate having large amount of caffeine in it.

Being a scientist, I decided to rely on scientific data rather than folklore.  The most credible link I could find was here.  The author of that site found an article published in “The Biochemist” in 1993.  That article describe a chemical analysis performed on several grains of cocoa.  The analysis did not find the presence of caffeine in the cocoa.

According to the author of the site, chocolate is safe for people with caffeine allergies (this claim has not been evaluated by us and I recommend that if you do indeed suffer caffeine allergy, get yourself checked before eating chocolate).
There are other sources claiming that there is about 0.2% caffeine in cocoa.  None of these sources sites a scientific paper.  However, even if cocoa does contain 0.2% of caffeine, this is about one eighth of coffee.

The bottom line is that even if there is caffeine in chocolate, it is in minute quantity and should not be a concern.

Go ahead and enjoy!

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How to Taste Chocolate

Like any sophisticated and complex food, there is an art to tasting chocolate.  Done right you can enjoy the full spectrum of the chocolate experience.  So, here is how you do it:

  1. Bring the chocolate as close as possible to room temperature.  Chocolate does not release its flavor when it is too cold, and the texture is wrong when it is too warm.
  2. Hold the piece in your hand and look at it.  If there are white deposits on the surface it means the chocolate was stored in the wrong temperature, and it needs to be melted and re-tempered.  Do not worry chocolate does not go bad.
  3. Break the piece in two.  It should make s snapping sound.
  4. Smell the chocolate.
  5. Put one piece in your mouth and let it melt.  Do not start chewing on it!
  6. Let the chocolate flood all parts of your mouth.  Notice the flavor in the different areas of your mouth.  Chocolate has a very complex combination of flavors.  To fully perceive it, the chocolate need to touch every area in your mouth.  With Healthy Chocolate there is an additional benefit to this step.  You are also taking advantage of the xylitol dental benefit by letting the xylitol in Healthy Chocolate reach every are where tooth decay bacteria maybe hiding, doing its job there.
  7. You can now chew on it.
  8. Pay attention to the after taste that develops after you finish swallowing.  The major difference between high quality and low quality cocoa is the after taste.

Using the above procedure will let you get  the full enjoyment of the chocolate.

Have a healthy chocolate day!

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We’re Kosher!

We are happy to inform you that we are now certified by OK Kosher, one of the world’s most respected symbols of kosher approval.

Our products are certified as Kosher Parve, meaning that they contain no dairy products.

The certificates for the individual products can be found at the following Digital Kosher links:

An individual Kosher Certificate is also available for each of our private label costumers that wish to execute one.

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Senior Living Expo 2011

This past weekend we participated in the Senior Living Expo – 2011. A new participant was the tube dude. We had a raffle among the participants who filled a form. The winner gets $100 worth of chocolate.

We are pleased to announce the winner: Paula Salgado. We will post a picture of her when she comes to claim her prize.

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Antioxidants and ORAC

What is an antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a chemical that take the place of an oxidant atom in a molecule. Some chemicals are “starved” for oxygen. These are called Free Radicals. When such chemical enters the body, it can start a chain reaction that destroys and mutates cells. Free radicals are believed to be a major cause for cancer and other diseases. When a body is attacked by a large number of free radicals it is under oxidative stress.

Antioxidants are the foods that relieve oxidative stress by taking the place of oxygen with these free radicals. Thus, the free radicals are absorbed, and are no longer a danger to the body.

Among the foods known as powerful antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, some enzymes, some berries, and chocolate.
The potency of antioxidants is measured by their capacity to absorb free radicals. This measure is called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Quantitatively, the ORAC value of an antioxidant is expressed in comparison to vitamin E (trolox). It is generally believed that an average adult in the US needs to consume about 5,000 ORAC units a day to combat oxidative stress.

The US Department of Agriculture has published a report detailing the ORAC values of various foods. The are expressed per 100 grams (about 3.5 Ounces). Some of these are:
Kidney Beans 8,606
Pecans 17,940
Tomatoes 546
Cranberries 9,090
Goji Berries 3,290
Dark Chocolate 20,816

As can be seen dark chocolate is one of the top antioxidant foods.

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