Well not really—but it seems as if it should be. Powerfully comforting, creamy, delicious—many people eat chocolate at least several times a week.
Which begs the question…
Is Chocolate Good for You?
The answer is both yes and no.
Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It contains the "love chemical" b-Phenethylamine (PEA) which the brain also releases naturally during high sexual arousal and orgasm, so eating cacao may give you feeling of euphoria, attraction, and arousal. And chocolate helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter—serotonin—in the brain.
But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.
How to Eat it Responsibly for Valentine's Day (or any day)
Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however—think commercially produced candy bars—the fewer healthy components remain.
So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?
- Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
- Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
- Go raw—or as unprocessed as possible.
Looking for more fun ways to enjoy your favorite food? You’ll love this dark chocolate treat. Invite some friends over and make a batch!
These truffles are a healthy version of a classic favorite for Valentine's Day or any day you need to satisfy a chocolate craving.
Makes 18 truffles
1 cup cashew nuts
1 T water
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup raw cacao powder or 100% cocoa powder
1 T coconut oil, melted
Maldon salt flakes
Roll-in ingredients: cocoa powder, unsweetened shredded and toasted coconut, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, a couple of chocolate chips
In blender combine cashews and water and blend. Add maple syrup and blend well. Add cocoa powder and coconut oil. Blend again until its a thick paste. Using teaspoon, pull rounded spoonfuls out of blender. Shape into balls with hands and drop onto a plate. Refrigerate for an hour. When firm, roll into favorite coatings and top with a couple bits of salt. Enjoy!