When talking about nutrition, chocolate probably isn’t the first food that comes to mind, but there has been extensive research carried out on cocoa, leading to conclusions that it has a myriad of health benefits. This is due to Cocoa containing the important mineral Magnesium and the trace elements Zinc and Copper. However, arguably the most influential compound in cocoa on health benefits is its antioxidant content.

The higher the percentage of cocoa solids the larger the quantity of minerals, trace elements and antioxidants, so our Absolute Black range at 100% cocoa solids contains more of these than chocolate with less cocoa solids. Furthermore, our Absolute Black Chocolate contains no sugar, further reducing negative health outcomes, or dairy making it suitable for vegans. If the fact that Absolute Black is our best-selling chocolate doesn’t convince you to try it, hopefully this article on its health benefits will.

Firstly, let’s focus on antioxidants

The metabolic processes in the body produce free radicals, when there is an excess of free radicals it creates oxidative stress, which environmental and lifestyle factors also contribute to. This oxidative stress damages cells leading to inflammation, increased signs of aging and enhanced risk of chronic diseases.

However, antioxidants neutralize free radicals, so including antioxidants in your diet protects cells against inflammation, signs of aging and chronic diseases. The dietary antioxidants found in cocoa are polyphenols, these are naturally occurring in plants so are present in plant derived foods like chocolate (and the obvious ones like fruit and vegetables, but you don’t need to be told they’re good for you). Although processing and storage will reduce the polyphenol content in Absolute Black, this happens in all foods containing polyphenols (after all, no one is perfect).

We know eating chocolate at the end of a stressful day is the best way to unwind and dark chocolate consumption has been found to significantly improve resistance to oxidative stress in the short-term, making our Absolute Black the ideal choice.

Plus, cocoa has been proven to be cardio-protective, offer some protection from the development of cancers and promote antidiabetic effects, due to the anti-inflammatory effects of its polyphenols. Further beneficial actions of the polyphenols in cocoa include maintenance of skin health through their protective effects on exogenous aging. This is aging caused by external factors such as sun damage which can be partially prevented, unlike intrinsic aging which is part of life. Interestingly, the effects of cocoa polyphenols have been found to increase endothelial cell function in individuals who typically have reduced endothelial cell function (those at risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetics and smokers) Endothelial cells are responsible for widening vessels in the body, typically blood vessels, so this in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. With all of these health benefits associated with polyphenols in cocoa, and the high cocoa solid content, thus polyphenol content of our Absolute Black range, you don’t need an excuse to indulge!

Next up: Minerals and Trace Elements

First…Magnesium

Dark chocolate has been confirmed as an excellent source of Magnesium. In 100g of 90% cocoa chocolate the Magnesium contributes to 67% of Nutrient Reference Values (Basically 67% of recommended total Magnesium intake). Magnesium is a macro-mineral meaning a larger quantity is required and is the predominate mineral in cocoa. It is essential to all living cells, as it is involved in many biological reactions such as energy production, as well as structurally vital in bones. It has cardio-protective qualities reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some women crave chocolate during menstruation and there a small body of research showing associations between magnesium ingestion and the reduction of premenstrual symptoms (PMS). So, if you crave chocolate during that time of the month try some Absolute Black chocolate, it may improve your PMS.

Other foods high in magnesium include almonds, which also happen to be included in our Absolute black range.

Now, Zinc and Copper

In 90% cocoa chocolate, there is also a high quantity of Zinc. Zinc is an important trace mineral for immune function reducing susceptibility to infections and increasing wound healing time.

Copper is important in the conversion of iron to its absorbable form, so if there isn’t enough copper available it can cause secondary iron deficiency, in extreme cases.

Finally the benefits of No Sugar or Dairy

We believe in moderation at Montezumas, however when refined sugar is consumed in excess it can promote weight gain, increases risk of dental cavities and increases inflammation. However, our Absolute Black does not contain any sugar, specifically refined sugar so if you are looking to reduce your refined sugar intake this is the chocolate for you.

Although diet is not thought to contribute hugely to the incidence of acne there is some evidence to suggest a diet high in sugar contributes to the risk of acne, as well as an association between dairy and acne, neither of which Absolute Black contains. So, if don’t want to give up chocolate on the quest for clear skin try our Absolute Black range.

Plus, research has found sugar-free cocoa consumption to lower blood pressure when compared to sugared cocoa. Satisfy you chocolate cravings whilst benefitting your health with our Absolute Black range, available alone and with almonds or orange. And if that’s not enough to convince you to try it, check out the rave reviews its received.