Are Chocolate Smoothies Healthy?

When you see recipes for smoothies, do you immediately look for a particular ingredient? Well, I do. I’m a certified chocolate lover, so I always look and see if there’s chocolate. When there’s even a hint of it, I choose it over any other smoothie, no matter how delicious-looking that other smoothie is.

The earliest record of chocolate use dates back over 300 years ago, in the Central American rain forests. It comes from the cacao tree and was believed to be of divine origin by the Mayan civilization. It was even used as a form of currency by the Aztecs. From there it was brought to Europe by the explorer Cortez; and they made the bitter drink tolerable by adding sugar and vanilla.  As of today, the United States and Canada are the world’s largest consumers of chocolate.

Chocolates are currently being avoided, especially by people who are trying to lose some weight. But did you know that it has certain health benefits as well?

Cocoa is found to have a high magnesium content. Magnesium prevents and manages hypertension, diabetes, joint problems, PMS (or premenstrual syndrome) and heart disease. It is also good for the cardiovascular system, as the natural fat content of chocolate does not contribute to a person’s cholesterol levels and also does not clog the arteries. It also has trace elements of iron, calcium, potassium and some vitamins (A, B1, C, D and E).

It lowers the blood pressure – in fact, some studies confirm that a small bar of dark chocolate everyday reduces high blood pressure. It has also been shown to have oleic acid – a mono-unsaturated fat – which raises good cholesterol and reduces LDL (or bad) cholesterol by up to 10 percent.

Dark chocolate is highly recommended rather than its plain milk chocolate counterpart because the dark one can give you the best health benefits compared to the plain one (which has a mix of sugar, saturated fats and other ingredients).

The healthiest chocolate is yes, the dark chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, look for chocolates with a minimum of 70 percent or more of cocoa solids. If you are into milk or white chocolate, you should take chocolate products with a recommended minimum of 30 percent chocolate solids (for milk chocolate) and 30 percent chocolate butter (for white chocolate) to still enjoy the health benefits it offers.

Surprisingly, cacao is said to contain antibacterial properties which fight tooth decay. It only loses those properties once the chocolate is processed and lots of sugar is added to it. It also has serotonin (which is an antidepressant) and combined with the ability to stimulate endorphin production (which makes you feel good), you have one happy chocolate eating experience.

The same is true for smoothies. The answer to the question is yes, chocolate smoothies are also healthy. More than 90 percent of the time, smoothies have either fruits or vegetables (sometimes a combination of it) as the main ingredient. When you use them with the right kind of chocolate, it not only enhances the flavor of the smoothie, but it also adds an extra health boost to it. As long as there isn’t too much sugar in your recipe, you can be sure that you are getting great nutrients that your body needs.

So what are you waiting for? Make your own chocolate smoothie today.